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Full text of "Choice readings from standard and popular authors"

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COPYRIGHT DEPOSIT. 



CHOICE READINGS 



Standard and Popular Authors, 



EMBRACING 



A COMPLETE CLASSIFICATION OF SELECTIONS, A COMPREHENSIVE 

DIAGRAM OF THE PRINCIPLES OF VOCAL EXPRESSION, 

AND INDICES TO THE CHOICEST READINGS 



SHAKESPEARE, THE BIBLE, AND HYMN-BOOK. 



COMPILED AND ARRANGED BY 

R. I. FULTON and T. C. TRUEBLOOD, 

Associate Founders and Directors of the University School of Oratory, 
Kansas City, Mo. 



- 

,^oc 

in 



°'^rl 



BOSTON: 
PUBLISHED BY GINN, HEATH, & CO. 

1884. 



< V 



^ * 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by 

R. I. FULTON and T. C. TRUEBLOOD, 
in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 



J. S. Cushing & Co., Printers, 115 High Street, Boston. 



TO 



®ux iptftfejers 



AND 



OUR PUPILS 
This Volume is Affectionately Inscribed 



THE COMPILERS. 



PEEFACE. 



T~N publishing this volume we make no apology for 
-*- its appearance among so many similar books now 
in the market. We believe there is a demand for it 
in the place it attempts to supply. Some features are 
novel. Many selections are new; others are old and 
standard. We invite a careful examination of the class 
of pieces employed, their arrangement under the four- 
teen divisions, the Diagram of the Elements of Vocal 
Expression, and the Indices to Readings from Shake- 
speare, the Bible, and Hymn-book. 

The pieces have been selected with regard to their 
literary merit and their adaptation to elocutionary pur- 
poses. The book contains only those selections which, 
if correctly delivered, will prove entertaining and in- 
structive as public and private readings. The fourteen 
classes or divisions are comprehensive, covering the 
entire range of thought, and at once indicate the 
character of the selections placed under them. To be 
sure, many shades of sentiment often occur in one piece ; 
but it is believed that each selection, as a wJwle, is 
correctly classified, so that the classification will be a 
safe guide to the pupil. The Diagrams of the Princi- 
ples, which are based upon the philosophy of Dr. James 
Rush, will prove valuable to any student of the art of 
expression, but they are intended more particularly to 
assist our own pupils in the interpretation and correct 
reading of the contents of this volume, and also to 
accompany '•'■Fulton and TruzbloooVs New Chart of the 
Principles of Expression." The Indices are a feature 



VI PREFACE. 



which has not, we believe, been presented in any other 
book of readings. By them we are enabled to use a 
wide field of matter without reprinting so much that is 
already published in a cheap form and is universally 
accessible. In short, the book is intended for use in 
our growing profession, in social and reading circles, 
and in schools and colleges ; and we leave it upon its 
own merits to find its proper place in public favour. 

In compiling we have drawn from a number of sources, 
all of which have, in some form, been duly recognized. 
We here acknowledge our indebtedness for the valuable 
criticisms and suggestions of the Rev. Henry N. Hudson, 
the well-known Shakespearian, who has revised and ap- 
proved the selections, and has himself furnished some 
of them, and has also superintended and corrected the 
printing throughout ; which of itself should be endorse- 
ment enough to satisfy the most critical. 

We also wish to acknowledge the courtesy extended 
to us by the following well-known publishing firms in 
allowing us the use of selections of which they hold the 
copyright : — D. Appleton & Co., New York ; Clark & 
Maynard, New York , S. C. Griggs & Co., Chicago ; 
Harper Brothers, New York , Houghton, Mifflin, & Co., 
Boston ; J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia ; Robert 
Clark & Co., Cincinnati. 

F. AND T. 

Kansas City, Mo., 
July 24, 1884. 



ANALYSIS OF THE CONTENTS. 



PAGES. 

I. Narrative, Descriptive, Didactic 1-94 

II. Love, Beauty, Tranquillity 05-124 

III. Grave, Solemn, Serious, Pathetic 125-189 

IV. Reverence, Devotion, Adoration 190-207 

V. Grand, Bold, Sublime 208-225 

VI. Patriotic, Senatorial, Oratorical 226-307 

VII. Invective, Vehement, Indignant 308-327 

VIII. Lively, Joyous, Gay 328-346 

IX. Humorous, Comic 347-413 

X. Dialectic : 

Cockney 414-419 

French 420-427 

German 427-430 

Irish 430-444 

Italian 444-449 

Negro 449-458 

Scotch 459-465 

Spanish 465-470 

XL Imitative Metrical 471-4S7 

XII. Por Young Polks 490-528 

XIII. Dramatic, not in the Drama 529-585 

XIV. Scenes from Popular Dramas : 

The Hunchback 586-602 

Ingomar 603-619 

Leah the Porsaken 619-623 

Mary Stuart 623-629 

Richelieu 630-633 

School for Scandal 634-641 

Virginius 641-657 

Ion 657-670 

The King and the Man 670-680 

Index to Readings from Shakespeare 681 

The Bible 694 

The Hymn-Book 698 



COSTTEOTS, 



Diagram of the Elements or Vocae Expression xvii 

I. 

NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, DIDACTIC. 

PAGE. 

Adam's Account of His Creation Milton. 2 

Advice to Young Lawyers Story. 4 

Alpine Minstrelsy Schiller. 39 

Bee-Hunt in the Ear West Irving. 12 

Blind Eiddler, The Wordsworth. 26 

Blind Highland Boy, The : Wordsworth. 69 

Christmas Eve in the Olden Time Scott. 29 

Child's Dream of a Star, A Dickens. 5 

Conscience, A Good Anon. 15 

Crusoe's Fight with Wolves . . . . -^ Defoe. 83 

Destruction of Pompeii , Lytton. 9 

Edwin and Angelina Goldsmith. 34 

Elegy in a Country Churchyard Gray. 16 

jEve, The Creation of Milton. 3 

\J Eirst Settler's Story, The Carleton. 20 

Friday's Erolic with a Bear Defoe. 79 

Happiness of Animals Coivper. 93 

History Fronde. 27 

■ /Jennie M'Neal, The Bide of Carleton. 44 

Knowledge and Wisdom Cowper. 1 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere Tennyson. 88 

Legend of Bregenz, A Procter. 40 

Maud Muller Whittier. 47 

Mona's Waters Anon. 51 

Morning Webster. 77 

No Sects in Heaven CI eav eland. 31 

Ode to the Passions Collins. 55 

Order for a Picture, An Gary. 58 

Our Travelled Parson Carleton. 90 



X CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

Painter of Seville, The Wilson. 61 

Potency of English Words Mcintosh. 66 

Scott, Sir Walter, and His Dogs Irving. 75 



II. 

LOVE, BEAUTY, TRANQUILLITY. 

Astrological Tower, The Schiller. 113 

Bridge, The Longfellow. 107 

Children, The Dickens. 109 

Genevieve Coleridge. 95 

Graham, Mr., and Lady Clementina MacDonald. 99 

Immortality of Love Southey. Ill 

Lost Chord, A Procter. 114 

Memory Garfield. 115 

Memory Wordsworth. 123 

Over the River Priest. 117 

Pictures of Memory Cary. 119 

Sandalphon Longfellow. 120 

Seen, Loved, Wedded Wordsworth. 98 

Tears, Idle Tears Tennyson. 117 

Tranquillity, Ode to Coleridge. 122 



III. 

GRAVE, SOLEMN, SERIOUS, PATHETIC. 

Angels of Buena Vista, The Whittier. 125 

Blacksmith's Story, The Olive. 136 

Christmas Day Richards. 134 

Curfew Must Not Ring To-Night Thorpe. 143 

Death of Mr. Bertram, The Scott. 146 

Forty Years Ago Anon. 159 

Good Son, The Dana. 171 

Hermit, The Beattie. 131 

How He Saved St. Michael's Anon. 139 

Isle of Long Ago, The Taylor. 156 

Ladder of St. Augustine, The Longfellow. 132 

Leonard and Margaret Southey. 165 

Lucy Bertram and Domine Sampson Scott. 150 

Lucy Gray Wordsworth. 183 

Michael and His Son Wordsworth. 162 



CONTENTS. XI 

PAGE. 

Nearer Home Canj. 161 

Ocean Burial, The Saunders. 169 

Our Folks Lynn. 185 

Our Willie Anon. 158 

Pauper's Death-Bed, The Southey. 157 

Poor Little Joe Arkwright. 187 

Rivermouth Bocks Whiitier. 177 

Song of the Mystic Ryan. 181 

Stability of Virtue, The Marshall. 168 

Thanatopsis Bryant. 128 

Widow and Her Son, The Irving. 173 

TTinif reda Anon. 135 



IV. 

REVERENCE, DEVOTION, ADORATION. 

Break, Break, Break Tennyson. 198 

Cato's Soliloquy Addison. 190 

Closing Year, The Prentice. 193 

Devotional Incitements Wordsworth. 195 

God Dershavin. 199 

God's First Temples Bryant. 202 

Hymn, A Coleridge. 192 

Inspiration of the Bible Winthrop. 197 

Primrose of the Rock, The Wordsworth. 206 

Supreme Being, To the Michael Angelo. 191 



V. 

GRAND, BOLD, SUBLIME. 

Apollo, Ode to Keats. 220 

Apostrophe to the Ocean Byron. 208 

God in Nature Wordsworth. 224 

Hymn to Mont Blanc Coleridge. 212 

Hymn to the Night Longfellow. 210 

Launching of the Ship , Longfellow. 218 

Marco Bozzaris Halleck. 214 

St. Peter's Church at Rome Byron. 222 

Vision of Mist-Splendours, A Wordsworth. 210 



Xll CONTENTS. 

* 

VI. 

PATRIOTIC, SENATORIAL, ORATORICAL. 

The Seven Great Orators of the World. page. 

Fortune of iEsehines Demosthenes. 226 

Panegyric on Julius Caesar Cicero. 230 

Divine Providence in Nature Chrysostom. 233 

Eulogium on St. Paul Bossuet. 236 

Against the Stamp-Act Chatham. 238 

Impeachment of Hastings Finished Burke. 242 

Supposed Speech of John Adams Webster. 245 

Ambition of a Statesman Clay. 298 

Appeal in Behalf of Ireland Prentiss. 296 

Charge of the Light Brigade Tennyson. 307 

Composed at Cora Linn Wordsworth. 249 

Eulogy on Lafayette Everett. 283 

Flag, The American Drake. 270 

Horatius at the Bridge Macaulay. 256 

Independence Bell Anon. 267 

Liberty and Union Webster. 266 

Lochiel's Warning Campbell. 288 

Massachusetts and South Carolina Webster. 304 

" Matches and Overmatches " Webster. 280 

Our Duties to the Republic Story. 264 

Patriotism Scott. 251 

Paul Revere's Ride Longfellow. 252 

Pitt's Reply to Walpole 262 

Reply to Mr. Corry Grattan. 274 

Reputation, Value of Charles Phillips. 300 

Rienzi's Address to the Romans Mitford. 286 

Rising of 1776, The Read. 272 

Speech in the Virginia Convention Henry. 290 

Speech of Vindication Emmett. 293 

Toussaint L'Overture Wendell Phillips. 302 

Walpole's Attack on Pitt 260 

Wisdom Dearly Purchased Burke. 277 

VII. 

INVECTIVE, VEHEMENT, INDIGNANT. 

Arraignment of Ministers -. Burke. 318 

Catiline's Defiance Croly. 308 



CONTENTS. 



xin 



Fraudulent Party Outcries Webster. 324 

Horrors of Savage Warfare Chatham. 315 

Indignation of a Spaniard Wordsworth. 327 

Marmion and Douglas Scott. 312 

Revolutionary Desperadoes Mackintosh. 321 

Seminole's Reply, The Patten. 314 

Spartacus to the Gladiators Anon. 310 



Yin. 

LIVELY, JOYOUS, GAY. 

Boys, The Holmes. 339 

Daffodils, The , Wordsworth. 330 

Expostulation and Reply Wordsworth. 341 

Fish- Women at Calais Wordsworth. 346 

I'm With You Once Again Jloms. 334 

1/ Allegro Milton. 328 

Last Leaf, The Holmes. 335 

Morning Ride, A Anon. 333 

New Year, The Tennyson. 345 

Pleasure-Boat, The Dana. 343 

Psalm of Life, A Longfellow. 338 

Song of the Brook Tennyson. 336 

Young Lochinvar Scott. 331 



IX. 

HUMOROUS, COMIC. 

Aunt Tabitha Holmes. 347 

Awfully Lovely Philosophy Anon. 348 

Bald-Headed Man, The , Anon. 350 

Betsey and I Are Out Carleton. 409 

Brakeman at Church, The Burdette. 353 

Champion Snorer, The Anon. 357 

Courtship under Difficulties Anon. 359 

Darius Green and His Flying-Machine Trowbridge. 364 

Death of a Mad Dog Goldsmith. 408 

How Betsy and I Made Up Carleton. 411 

How " Ruby " Played Brownin. 371 

How the Old Horse Won the Bet Holmes. 389 

Our Guides Twain. 375 



XIV CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

Pickwick's Proposal, Mr Dickens. 379 

Pyramus and Thisbe Saxe. 386 

Reflections in the Pillory Lamb. 404 

Sam Weller's Valentine Dickens. 382 

Tom's Little Star Foster. 395 

Too Late for the Train Anon. 400 



X. 

DIALECTIC. 

Cockney. 

Lord Dundreary Proposing Skill. 414 

The Swell Kyle. 417 

French. 

Frenchman and Flea-Powder Anon. 420 

A Frenchman on Macbeth Anon. 421 

Monsieur Tonson Anon. 422 

German. 

Leedle Yawcob Strauss Adams. 427 

" Sockery " Setting a Hen Anon. 429 

Irish. 

Connor Anon. 430 

Miss Malony on the Chinese Dodge. 437 

Jimmy Butler and the Owl Anon. 440 

Italian. 
A Senator Entangled De Mille. 444 

Negro. 

Christmas-Night in the Quarters Russell. 449 

The First Banjo Russell. 453 

Uncle Dan'l's Apparition Clemens and Warner. 455 

Scotch. 

Charlie Machree Hoppin. 459 

Cuddle Doon Anderson. 400 

John Anderson, My Jo Burns. 461 

Jeanie Morrison Motherwell. 462 

Spanish. 
Magdalena ; or, the Spanish Duel Anon. 465 



CONTENTS. XV 

XI. 

IMITATIVE METRICAL. 

PAGE. 

Bells, The Poe. 471 

Bugle Song Tennyson. 473 

Charcoal Man, The Trowbridge. 474 

Creeds of the Bells Bungay. 476 

Drifting Read. 487 

Evening at the Farm Trowbridge. 478 

Last Hymn, The Farmingham. 480 

Little Telltale, The Anon. 481 

Robert of Lincoln Bryant. 483 

"Rock of Ages " Rice. 485 

XII. 

FOR YOUNG FOLKS. 

Annie and Willie's Prayer Snow. 490 

Better in the Morning Coan. 521 

Butterfly's Ball, The ; Roscoe. 515 

Dead Doll, The * Vandergrift. 493 

Evening with Helen's Babies Habberton. 495 

In School Days Whittier. 509 

Katie Lee and Willie Grey Hunt. 497 

Keeping His Word Anon. 499 

Leap for Life, A Cotton. 501 

Little Rocket's Christmas Brown. 502 

Love and Prayer Coleridge. 528 

Margaret Gray Lamb. 518 

No Flowers on Papa's Grave C. E. L. Holmes. 514 

Papa's Letter Anon. 507 

Rats - Loudon. 527 

Smack in School, The Palmer. 517 

Somebody's Mother Anon. 511 

Tame Hares Cowper. 523 

To Whom shall We give Thanks % Anon. 512 

XIII. 

DRAMATIC, NOT IN THE DRAMA. 

Beautiful Snow, The Pi< Watson. 529 

Bernardo del Carpio t Hemans. 531 

Claudius and Cynthia • . . Thompson. 577 

Count Candaspina's Standard .... Boker. 533 



XVI CONTENTS. 

PAGE. 

Famine, The Longfellow. 536 

Gambler's Wife, The Coutes. 543 

yGone with a Handsomer Man Carleton. 569 

John Maynard, The Hero-Pilot Gouyh. 545 

Johnny Bartholomew English. 584 

Lady Clare Tennyson. 546 

Maelaine's Child Mackay. 549 

Mother and Poet Mrs. Browning. 552 

Parrhasius the Captive Willis. 555 

Polish Boy, The Stephens. 557 

Scotland's Maiden Martyr Anon. 582 

Searching for the Slain Anon. 575 

Shelly, Kate Hall. 541 

Vagabonds, The Trowbridge. 572 

Virginia : a Lay of Ancient Rome Macaulay. 561 

Wreck of the Hesperus, The Longfellow. 566 

Wounded .Miller. 564 



XIV. 
SCENES FROM POPULAR DRAMAS. 

The Hunchback, Act I. Scene II Knowles. 586 

ActL Scene III '. " 590 

Act IV. Scene II " 592 

Act V. Scene I " 599 

Ingomar, Act I. Scene I Halm. 603 

Act II. Scene I " 610 

Act IV. Scene I " 615 

Leah, the Forsaken, Act IV. Scene II Daly. 619 

Mary Stuart, Act III. Scene IV Schiller. 623 

Richelieu, Act IV. Scene I Lytton. 630 

The School for Scandal, Act II. Scene I Sheridan. 634 

Act III. Scene I " 637 

Virginius, Act I. Scene II Knowles. 641 

Act II. Scene II " 648 

Act IV. Scene II " 650 

Ion ; a Tragedy, Act I. Scene I Talfourd. 657 

Act I. Scene II " 665 

The King and the Man Schdler. 670 

Index to Scenes from Shakespeare 681 

Index to Readings from the Bible 694 

Index to Hymns 698 



DIAGRAM 

OF 

THE ELEMENTS OP VOOAL EXPKESSIOtf. 



[Note. — The object of this Diagram is to present at a glance all 
the Principles of vocal expression, and to show in a brief and convenient 
form the kinds of thought they express. There is no attempt here to 
give all the sentiments expressed by each Element, but only such repre- 
sentative words are used as will direct the thoughts of the pupil into 
the right channel. The different shades and changes of sentiment, as 
they occur in a selection, will at once be understood by the context ; 
and, by reference to this Diagram, the student can easily determine the 
Elements required for a correct and natural expression.] 






LONG 

i MODERATE .. 
SHORT 



b. PAUSES 



INTERSYLLABIC 
PROSODIAL . . . 
RHETORICAL . . 

GRAMMATICAL 

t EMOTIONAL . 

f VERY RAPID 

RAPID 

c. MOVEMENT <| MODERATE . 
SLOW 



I VERY SLOW 



(Pathos. Sorrow. Solemnity. Sub- 
limity. Awe. Reverence. Adora- 
tion. Apostrophe. Commanding. 
Calling. 
(Narrative, didactic, bold, and lofty 

< thought. Secrecy. Alarm. Cour- 
t age. Grandeur. 

Joy. Mirth. Laughter. Exciting 
appeal. Impatience. Detestation. 
Fright. Anger. Contempt. 

(Used between syllables of very 

< emphatic words for articulative 
[ enforcement. 

{Used to mark the prosody of verse 
only when the emphasis and 
measure of speech coincide. 
(Used in phrasing spoken discourse 
i to make the sense apparent to 
t the ear. 
Used to show the grammatical con- 
struction of written discourse, 
and represented to the eye by the 
l^ punctuation marks, 
f Used before and after a word, or 
^ group of words, expressing very 
I. strong emotion. 

( Ecstatic joy. Laughter. Fright. 

< Lyric description. Wrath. Anxi- 
[ ety. Excitement. 

( Gladness. Exciting appeal. Mirth. 

< Animated description. Anger. 
[ Defiance. Alarm. 
["Ordinary conversation. Didactic 

< and oratorical thought. Grandeur. 
(, Seriousness. Secrecy. Hate. 
['Gravity. Solemn narration. Pathos. 

■{ Reverence. Awe. Sublimity, 
t Command. 

(Melancholy. Gloom. Despair. 
<( Adoration. Profound repose, 
t Deepest awe and sublimity. 



DIAGRAM OF THE 



f PURE TONE 

a. \ OROTUND > Elevating and 

{ ORAL, .... 

f ASPIRATE 

b. < GUTTURAL J> Secret and Malignant Thought. 

; [ PECTORAL, J 

NASAL, 

Burlesque and Mimic Thought. 
FALSETTO 



["Pure Tone , 
Orotund . , 

{ EFFUSIVE . { Oral 

Aspirate . . 

[Pectoral. , 

C Pure Tone . 
| Orotund . , 

FORM . .\ EXPULSIVE <j ^J^rate ." ■ 

Guttural . 
(.Pectoral. , 

f Pure Tone . 
EXPLOSIVE^hotuN t D.. 

[ Guttural 



Solemnity. Tranquillity. Pathos. 
Reverence. Sublimity. Devotion. 
Sickness. Feebleness. Weakness. 
Stillness. Secrecy. Suppressed fear. 
Deepest solemnity, awe, and adoration. 

Conversation. Didactic thought. Gladness. 
Graudeur. Patriotism. Oratorical thought. 
Languor. Fatigue. Exhaustion. 
Sudden fear. Suppressed command. 
Impatience. Scorn. Hate. Revenge. 
Dread. Amazement. Horror. 

Gaiety. Ecstatic joy. Laughter. 
Courage. Defiance. Alarm. 
Terror. Intense fear and horror. 
Violent hate. Anger. Rage. 



b. DEGREE 4 



IMPASSIONED . 



ENERGETIC 



MODERATE 



Ecstatic joy. Rapture. Shouting. Courage. . Defi- 
ance. Alarm. Intense fear. Terror. Auger. 
Loathing. 

Laughter. Gaity. Bold and lofty appeal. Grandeur. 
Fear. Suppressed command. Contempt. Lyric 
description. 

Narration. Description. Didactic thought. Pathos. 
Solemnity. Sublimity. Devotion. Secrecy. 
Despair. Scorn. 

5 Seriousness. Tranquillity. Fatigue. Weakness. 
L feUL»xJu^jj j Feebleness. Stillness. Awe. Profound repose. 

Tf & nm a t S Didactic thought. Patriotism. Impatience. Secrecy. 

KAmoAL j Dread. Mirth. Rapture. Intense fear. Anger. 

Surprise. Resolution. Determination. Stubborn- 
ness. Revenge. Hate. Scorn. Horror. Rage. 
Rebuke. 



c, STRESS .< 



FINAL 



COMPOUND 



THOROUGH 



Irony. Mockery. 
Taunt. Sarcasm. 



MEDIAN 



[INTERMITTENT 



Raillery. Ridicule. Satire. 
Derision. Contempt. Scoffing. 

Defiance. Command. Triumph. Shouting. Call- 
ing. Indignation. Warning. Lofty appeal. 

Pathos. Sadness. Melancholy. Stillness. Tran- 
quillity. Reverence. Sublimity. Awe. 

Grief. Tenderness. Feebleness. Senility. Sorrow. 
Timidity. Extreme pathos. Fright. Ecstatic 

joy. 



ELEMENTS OF VOCAL EXPRESSION. 



XIX 



a. DEGREE 



VERY HIGH 
HIGH 



b. CHANGES 



MIDDLE 



LOW .... 

.VERY LOW 



Ecstatic Joy. Laughter. Fright. Alarm. Terror. 

Animated description. Defiance. Joy. Feebleness. 
Secret thought. Violent hate. Calling. Command. 
Courage. Patriotism. 

Mirth. Conversation. Fatigue. Seriousness. Rever- 
ence. Grandeur. Sudden fear. Anger. Pathos. 
Revenge. 

Grave narration. Gloom. Despair. Melancholy. 
Solemnity. Adoration. Suppressed fear. Loathing. 
Contempt. 

Sublimity. Awe. Deepest reverence and devotion. 



U 



£ 
3 
o 

im 

o 

> 



Rising j 
Falling ) 



' Intervals , 



{ Semitone 

Second . . 

< Third . . . 

I Fifth . . . 
Octave . . 



[Semitone 
Second . . 
-> Third . . . 
| Fifth . . . 
L Octave . . 

f Single . . 
Double . . 
Continued 



Kinds 



Equal . . . 
Unequal . 

Direct . . 
Inverted 




r CURRENT 



c. MELODY 



monotone 

Rising Ditone . . 
, j Falling Ditone . 
1 Rising Tritone . 
I Falling Tritone I 



t Alternation . 



( Distress. Crying. Pity. Love. 

} Plaintiveness. Extreme pathos. 

j Reverence. Sadness. Awe. Or- 

( dinary conversation. 

\ Animated narration. Wit. Play- 

l fulness. Earnest appeal. 

\ Joy. Delight. Anger. Hate. 

) Alarm. Defiance. 

i Extreme surprise. Intense fear. 

\ Impassioned exclamation. 

. f Associated in the same styles 
of thought with the eorre- 
I 1 sponding degrees of the 
j ] rising and falling inflec- 
tion, to give character to 
J I. expression. 

fUsed in lengthening the 
I quantity of words without 
j overstepping the interval 
[ the passion requires. 
{ Emphatic distinction. Gallantry. 
( Love. Solemnity. Reverence. 
| Irony. Derision. Sarcasm. Rail- 
) lery. Mockery. Contempt. 
Admiration. Joy. Positiveness. 
Decisiveness. Fearlessness. 
Determination. 
Indefiniteness. Antithesis. Inter- 
rogation. Surprise. Wavering. 
Cowardice. 

f L T sed, for the most part, in con- 
junction with concretes of the 
•{ same intervals, through the 
j different degrees of pitch, for 
L variety in expression. 



("Used in connection with the differ- 
J ent degrees for giving variety to 
] the succession of speech-notes, as 
(. they occur in all styles of thought. 



f Triad 



I CADENCE 



Duad 



Monad 



Used when the last three syllables 
Rising . . . { of the sentence are about equally 
emphatic. 
\ Used when the antepenultimate syl- 
\ lable of the sentence is accented. 
\ Used when the penultimate syllable 
/ of the sentence is accented. 
( Used when the ultimate syllable 
Second . . . < of the sentence is moderately 

( ' accented. 
Used when the ultimate syllable of the closing 
word is heavily accented, or when the sentence 
ends in a very emphatic monosyllable. 



Falling 
First . . 



Choice Readings, 
i. 

NARRATIVE, DESCRIPTIVE, DIDACTIC. 

KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM. 

William Cowper. 

Knowledge and wisdom, far from being one, 

Have ofttimes no connection. Knowledge dwells 

In heads replete with thoughts of other men, 

Wisdom in minds attentive to their own. 

Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass, 

The mere materials with which wisdom builds, 

Till smooth'd and squared and fitted to its place, 

Does but encumber whom it seems t' enrich. 

Knowledge is proud that he has learn 'd so much ; 

Wisdom is humble that he knows no more. 

Books are not seldom talismans and spells, 

By which the magic art of shrewder wits 

Holds an unthinking multitude enthrall'd. 

Some to the fascination of a name 

Surrender judgment hoodwink'd. Some the stj'le 

Infatuates, and through labyrinths and wilds 

Of error leads them, b}* a tune entranced ; 

While sloth seduces more, too weak to bear 

The insupportable fatigue of thought, 

And swallowing therefore, without pause or choice, 

The total grist unsifted, husks and all. 

But trees, and rivulets whose rapid course 



CHOICE READINGS. 

Defies the check of Winter, haunts of deer, 

And sheepwalks populous with bleating lambs, 

And lanes in which the primrose ere her time 

Peeps through the moss that clothes the hawthorn root, 

Deceive no student. Wisdom there, and Truth, 

Not shy as in the world, and to be won 

By slow solicitation, seize at once 

The roving thought, and fix it on themselves. 

»o^oc 

ADAM'S ACCOUNT OF HIS OEEATIOK 

John Milton. 

For man to tell how human life began, 

Is hard ; for who himself beginning knew ? 

Desire with thee still longer to converse 

Induced me. As new-waked from soundest sleep, 

Soft on the flowery herb I found me laid, 

In balmy sweat ; which with his beams the Sun 

Soon dried, and on the reeking moisture fed. 

Straight towards heaven my wondering eyes I turn'd, 

And gazed awhile the ample sky ; till, raised 

By quick instinctive motion, up I sprung, 

As thitherward endeavouring, and upright 

Stood on my feet. About me round I saw 

Hill, dale, and shad}^ woods, and sunny plains, 

And liquid lapse of murmuring streams ; by these, 

Creatures that lived and moved, and walk'd or flew ; 

Birds on the branches warbling ; all things smiled ; 

With fragrance and with joy my heart o'erflow'd. 

Myself I then perused, and limb by limb 

Survey'cl ; and sometimes went, and sometimes ran 

With supple joints, as lively vigour led : 

But who I was, or where, or from what cause, 

Knew not. To speak I tried, and forthwith spake ; 

My tongue obey'd, and readily could name 



ADAM DESCRIBING THE CREATION OF EVE. 6 

Whate'er I saw. " Thou Sun," said I, " fair light, 
And thou, enlighten' cl Earth, so fresh and gay ; 
Ye hills and dales ; ye rivers, woods, and plains ; 
And ye that live and move, fair creatures ! tell, 
Tell, if }'e saw, how came I thus? how here?" 



ADAM DESCKIBITO THE CEEATIOtf OF EYE. 

John Milton. 

Mine eyes he closed, but open left the cell 

Of fancy, nry internal sight, by which 

Abstract, as in a trance, methought I saw, 

Though sleeping, where I lay, and saw the shape 

Still glorious before whom awake I stood ; 

Who, stooping, open'd my left side, and took 

From thence a rib, with cordial spirits warm, 

And life-blood streaming fresh ; wide was the wound, 

But suddenly with flesh filPd up and heal'd : 

The rib he form'd and fashion'd with his hands ; 

Under his forming hands a creature grew, 

Man-like, but different sex, so lovely fair, 

That what seem'cl fair in all the world seem'd now 

Mean, or in her summ'd up, in her contain'd, 

And in her looks ; which from that time infused 

Sweetness into my heart unfelt before, 

And into all things, from her air, inspired 

The spirit of love and amorous delight. 

She disappear'd, and left me dark ; I waked 

To find her, or for ever to deplore 

Her loss, and other pleasures all abjure ; 

When out of hope, behold her, not far off, 

Such as I saw her in my dream, adorn'd 

With all that Earth or Heaven could bestow 

To make her amiable. On she came, 

Led by her heavenly Maker, though unseen, 



CHOICE READINGS. 

And guided by his voice ; nor uninform'd 

Of nuptial sanctity and marriage rites : 

Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, 

In every gesture dignity and love. 

I, overjoy'd, could not forbear aloud: 

" This turn hath made amends ; Thou hast fulfiU'd 

Thy words, Creator bounteous and benign, 

Giver of all things fair ! but fairest this 

Of all Thy gifts ; nor enviest. I now see 

Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh, myself 

Before me : Woman is her name, of man 

Extracted : for this cause he shall forego 

Father and mother, and to his wife adhere ; 

And they shall be one flesh, one heart, one soul." 



>j«* 



ADVICE TO YOUNG LAWYEES. 

Judge Story. 

Whene'er } t ou speak, remember every cause 
Stands not on eloquence, but stands on laws ; 
Pregnant in matter, in expression brief, 
Let every sentence stand with bold relief ; 
On trifling points nor time nor talents waste, 
A sad offense to learning and to taste ; 
Nor deal with pompous phrase, nor e'er suppose 
Poetic flights belong to reasoning prose. 

Loose declamation may deceive the crowd, 
And seem more striking as it grows more loud ; 
But sober sense rejects it with disdain, 
As nought but empt}^ noise, and weak as vain. 

The froth of words, the schoolboy's vain parade 
Of books and cases, — all his stock in trade, — 
The pert conceits, the cunning tricks and play 
Of low attorne}'s, strung in long array, 



A CHILD S DREAM OF A STAR. 5 

Th' unseemly jest, the petulant reply, 
That chatters on, and cares not how or why, 
Strictly avoid ; — unworthy themes to scan, 
They sink the speaker and disgrace the man ; 
Like the false lights by flying shadows cast, 
Scarce seen when present, and forgot when past. 

Begin with dignity ; expound with grace 

Each ground of reasoning in its time and place ; 

Let order reign throughout ; each topic touch, 

Nor urge its power too little nor too much ; 

Give each strong thought its most attractive view, 

In diction clear and yet severely true ; 

And, as the arguments in splendour grow, 

Let each reflect its light on all below : 

When to the close arrived, make no dela}'s 

By petty flourishes or verbal plays, 

But sum the whole in one deep, solemn strain, 

Like a strong current hastening to the main. 

A CHILD'S DEEAM Or A STAE. 

Charles Dickens. 

There was once a child, and lie strolled about a good 
deal, and thought of a number of things. He had a 
sister who was a child too, and his constant compaiMon. 
They wondered at the beauty of flowers; they won- 
dered at the height and blueness of the sky ; they won- 
dered at the depth of the water ; they wondered at the 
goodness and power of God, who made them lovely. 

They used to say to one another sometimes : Suppos- 
ing all the children upon Earth were to die, would the 
flowers, and the water, and the sky be sorry? They 
believed they would be sorry. For, said they, the buds 
are the children of the flowers, and the little playful 



6 CHOICE READINGS. 

streams that gambol clown the hillsides are the children 
of the water, and the smallest bright specks playing 
at hide and seek in the sky all night must surely be 
the children of the stars ; and they would all be grieved 
to see their playmates, the children of men, no more. 

There was one clear shining star that used to come 
out in the sky before the rest, near the church spire, 
above the graves. It was larger and more beautiful, 
they thought, than all the others, and every night they 
watched for it, standing hand-in-hand at a window. 
Whoever saw it first, cried out, "I see the star." And 
after that, they cried out both together, knowing so 
well when it would rise, and where. So they grew to 
be sach friends with it that, before laying down in their 
bed, they always looked out once again to bid it good 
night ; and when they were turning around to sleep, 
they used to say, " God bless the star ! " 

But while she was still very young, O, very young, 
the sister drooped, and came to be so weak that she 
could no longer stand in the window at night, and then 
the child looked sadly out by himself, and, when he saw 
the star, turned round and said to the patient pale face 
on the bed, "I see the star! " and then a smile would 
come upon the face, and a little weak voice used to say, 
" G#d bless my brother and the star ! " 

And so the time came, all too soon, when the child 
looked out all alone, and when there was no face on the 
bed, and when there was a grave among the graves, not 
there before, and when the star made long rays down 
toward him as he saw it through his tears. 

Now these rays were so bright, and they seemed to 
make such a shining way from Earth to Heaven, that 
when the child went to his solitary bed, he dreamed 
about the star ; and dreamed that, laying where he was, 



A CHILD S DREAM OF A STAR. / 

he saw a train of people taken np that sparkling* road 
by angels ; and the star, opening, showing him a great 
world of light, where many more such angels waited to 
receive them. 

All these angels, who were waiting, turned their 
beaming eyes upon the people who were carried up into 
the star ; and some came out from the long rows in 
which they stood, and fell upon the people's necks, and 
kissed them tenderly, and went away with them down 
avenues of light, and were so happy in their company, 
that lying in his bed he wept for joy. 

But there were many angels who did not go with 
them, and among them one he knew. The patient face 
that once had lain upon the bed was glorified and ra- 
diant, but his heart found out his sister among all the 
host. 

His sister's angel lingered near the entrance of the 
star, and said to the leader among those who had 
brought the people thither, 

" Is my brother come ? " 

And he said, " No ! " 

She was turning hopefully away, when the child 
stretched out his arms, and cried, " O, sister, I am 
here ! Take me ! " And then she turned her beaming 
eyes upon him, — and it was night ; and the star was 
shining into the room, making long rays down towards 
him as he saw it through his tears. 

From that hour forth, the child looked out upon the 
star as the home he was to go to when his time should 
come ; and he thought that he did not belong to the 
Earth alone, but to the star too, because of his sister's 
angel gone before. 

There was a baby born to be a brother to the child, 
and, while he was so little that he never yet had spoken 



o CHOICE READINGS. 

a word, he stretched out his tiny form on his bed, and 
died. 

Again the child dreamed of the opened star, and of 
the company of angels, and the train of people, and the 
rows of angels, with their beaming eyes all turned upon 
those people's faces. 

Said his sister's angel to the leader, 

" Is my brother come ? " 

And he said, " Not that one, but another ! " 

As the child beheld his brother's angel in her arms, 
he cried, " O, my sister, I am here ! Take me ! " And 
she turned and smiled upon him, — and the star was 
shining. 

He grew to be a young man, and was busy at his 
books, when an old servant came to him and said, 

" Thy mother is no more. I bring her blessing on 
her darling son." 

Again at night he saw the star, and all that former 
company. Said his sister's angel to the leader, "Is my 
brother come?" 

And he said, " Thy mother ! " 

A mighty cry of joy went forth through all the star, 
because the mother Avas re-united to her two children. 
And he stretched out his arms and cried, u O, mother, 
sister, and brother, I am here ! Take me ! " And they 
answered him, u Not yet! " — and the star was shining. 

He grew to be a man, whose hair was turning gray, 
and he was sitting in his chair by the fireside, heavy 
with grief, and with his face bedewed with tears, when 
the star opened once again. 

Said his sister's angel to the leader, " Is my brother 
come ?" 

And he said, " Nay, but his maiden daughter ! " 

And the man who had been the child saw his daughter, 



DESTRUCTION OF POMPEII. 9 

newly lost to him, a celestial creature among those three, 
and he said, " My daughter's head is on my sister's 
bosom, and her arm is around my mother's neck, and at 
her feet is the baby of old time, and I can bear the part- 
ing from her, God be praised ! " — And the star was 
shining. 

Thus the child came to be an old man, and his once 
smooth face was wrinkled, and his steps were slow and 
feeble, and his back was bent. And one night as he lay 
upon his bed, his children standing round, he cried, as 
he cried so long ago, " I see the star ! "" 

They whispered one another, "He is dying." And 
he said, "I am. My age is falling from me like a gar- 
ment, and I move towards the star as a child. And, O 
my Father, now I thank Thee that it has so often opened 
to receive those dear ones who await me ! " 

And the star was shining; and it shines upon his 
grave. 

DESTRUCTION OF POMPEII. 

Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton. 

The cloud, which had scattered so deep a murkiness 
over the day, had now settled into a solid and impene- 
trable mass. It resembled less even the thickest gloom 
of a night in the open air than the close and blind dark- 
ness of some narrow room. But, in proportion as the 
blackness gathered, did the lightnings around Vesuvius 
increase in their vivid and scorching glare. Nor was 
their horrible beaut}' confined to the usual hues of fire; 
no rainbow ever rivalled their varying and prodigal dyes. 
Xow brightly blue as the most azure depth of a southern 
sky, — now of a livid and snake-like green, darting rest- 



10 CHOICE READINGS. 

lessly to and fro as the folds of an enormous serpent, — 
now of a lurid and intolerable crimson, gushing forth 
through the columns of smoke, far and wide, and light- 
ing up the whole city from arch to arch, — then sud- 
denly dying into a sickly paleness, like the ghost of 
their own life ! 

In the pauses of the showers you heard the rumbling 
of the earth beneath, and the groaning waves of the 
tortured sea ; or, lower still, and audible but to the 
watch of intensest fear, the grinding and hissing mur- 
mur of the escaping gases through the chasms of the 
distant mountain. Sometimes the cloud appeared to 
break from its solid mass, and, by the lightning, to 
assume quaint and vast mimicries of human or of mon- 
ster shapes, striding across the gloom, hurtling one upon 
the other, and vanishing swiftty into the turbulent abyss 
of shade ; so that, to the eyes and fancies of the affrighted 
wanderers, the unsubstantial vapours were as the bodily 
forms of gigantic foes, — the agents of terror and death. 

The ashes in many places were already knee-deep ; 
and the boiling showers which came from the steaming 
breath of the volcano forced their Avay into the houses, 
bearing with them a strong and suffocating vapour. In 
some places immense fragments of rock, hurled upon the 
house roofs, bore down along the streets masses of con- 
fused ruin, which yet more and more, with every hour, 
obstructed the way ; and, as the day advanced, the 
motion of the earth was more sensibly felt ; the footing 
seemed to slide and creep, nor could chariot or litter be 
kept steady, even on the most level ground. 

Sometimes the huger stones, striking against each 
other as they fell, broke into countless fragments, 
emitting sparks of fire, which caught whatever was 
combustible within their reach; and along the plain 



DESTRUCTION OF POMPEII. 11 

beyond the city the darkness was now terribly relieved ; 
for several houses, and even vineyards, had been set on 
flames; and at various intervals the fires rose sullenly 
and fiercely against . the solid gloom. To add to this 
partial relief of the darkness, the citizens had, here and 
there, in the more public places, such as the porticos 
of temples and the entrances to the forum, endeavoured 
to place rows of torches ; but these rarely continued 
loug; the showers and the winds extinguished them, 
and the sudden darkness into which their fitful light 
was converted had something in it doubly terrible and 
doubly impressive on the impotence of human hopes, 
the lesson of despair. 

Frequently, by the momentary light of these torches, 
parties of fugitives encountered each other, some hur-. 
rying towards the sea, others flying from the sea back to 
the land ; for the ocean had retreated rapidly from the 
shore ; an utter darkness lay over it, and, upon its 
groaning and tossing waves, the storm of cinders and 
rocks fell without the protection which the streets and 
roofs afforded to the land. Wild, haggard, ghastly with 
supernatural fears, these groups encountered each other, 
but without the leisure to speak, to consult, to advise ; 
for the showers fell now frequently, though not contin- 
uously, extinguishing the lights, which showed to each 
band the death-like faces of the other, and hurrying all 
to seek refuge beneath the nearest shelter. 

The whole elements of civilization were broken up. 
Ever and anon, by the flickering lights, you saw the 
thief hastening by the most solemn authorities of the 
law, laden with, and fearfully chuckling over the produce 
of his sudden gains. If, in the darkness, wife was sepa- 
rated from husband, or parent from child, vain was the 
hope of reunion. Each hurried blindly and confusedly 



12 CHOICE READINGS. 

on. Nothing in all the various and complicated ma- 
chinery of social life was left save the primal law of 
self-preservation. 



A BEE-HUNT IE THE FAK WEST. 

Washington Irving. 

We had not been long in the camp when a party set 
out in quest of a bee-tree, and, being curious to witness 
the sport, I gladly accepted an invitation to accompany 
them. The party was headed by a veteran bee-hunter, 
a tall, lank fellow in home-spun garb that hung loosely 
about his limbs, and a straw hat shaped not unlike a 
bee-hive ; a comrade, equally uncouth in garb, and with- 
out a hat, straddled along at his heels, with a long rifle 
on his shoulder. To these succeeded half a dozen 
others, some with axes and some with rifles, for no one 
stirs far from the camp without his firearm, so as to be 
ready either for wild deer or wild Indian. 

After proceeding some distance we came to an open 
glade on the skirts of the forest. Here our leader 
halted, and then advanced quietly to a low bush, on 
the top of which I perceived a piece of honey-comb. 
This I found was the bait or lure for the wild bees. 
Several were humming about it, and diving into its 
cells. When they had laden themselves with honey 
they would rise into the air, and dart off in a straight 
line almost with the velocity of a bullet. The hunters 
watched attentively the course they took, and then set 
off in the same direction, stumbling along over twisted 
roots and fallen trees, with their eyes turned up to the 
sky. In this way they traced the honey-laden bees to 
their hive, in the hollow trunk of a blasted oak, where, 



A BEE-HUNT IN THE EAR WEST. 13 

after buzzing about for a moment, they entered a hole 
about sixty feet from the ground. 

Two of the bee-hunters now plied their axes vigor- 
ously at the foot of the tree, to level it with the ground. 
The mere spectators and amateurs, in the meantime, 
drew off to a cautious distance, to be out of the way of 
the falling of the tree and the vengeance of its inmates. 
The jarring blows of the axe seemed to have no effect 
in alarming or disturbing this most industrious commu- 
nity. They continued to ply at their usual occupations, 
some arriving full-freighted into port, others sallying 
forth on new expeditions, like so many merchantmen in 
a money-making metropolis, little suspicious of impend- 
ing bankruptcy and downfall. Even a loud crack 
which announced the disrupture of the trunk failed to 
divert their attention from the intense pursuit of gain ; 
at length down came the tree with a tremendous crash, 
bursting open from end to end, and displaying all the 
hoarded treasures of the commonwealth. 

One of the hunters immediate^ ran up with a wisp 
of lighted hay as a defense against the bees. The latter, 
however, made no attack and sought no revenge ; they 
seemed stupefied b} r the catastrophe and unsuspicious 
of its cause, and remained crawling and buzzing about 
the ruins without offering us any molestations.. Every 
one of the party now fell to, with spoon and hunting- 
knife, to scoop out the flakes of honey-comb with which 
the hollow trunk was stored. Some of them were of 
old date and a deep brown color ; others were beauti- 
fully white, and the honey in their cells was almost 
limpid. Such of the combs as were entire were placed 
in camp-kettles, to be conveyed to the encampment; 
those which had been shivered in the fall were devoured 
upon the spot. Every stark bee-hunter was to be seen 



14 CHOICE READINGS. 

with a rich morsel in his hand, dripping about his 
ringers, and disappearing as rapidly as a cream tart be- 
fore the holiday appetite of a school-boy. 

Nor was it the bee-hunters alone that profited by the 
downfall of this industrious community ; as if the bees 
would carry through the similitude of their habits with 
those of laborious and gainful man. I beheld num- 
bers from rival hives arriving on eager wing, to enrich 
themselves with the ruins of their neighbours. These 
busied themselves as eagerly and cheerfully as so many 
wreckers on an Indiaman that has been driven on shore ; 
plunging into the cells of the broken honey-combs, 
banqueting greedily on the spoil, and then winging 
their way full-freighted to their homes. As to the poor 
proprietors of the ruin, they seemed to have no heart to 
do any thing, not even to taste the nectar that flowed 
around them ; but crawled backwards and forwards, in 
vacant desolation, as I have seen a poor fellow with his 
hands in his pockets, whistling vacantly and despond- 
ingly about the ruins of his house that had been burnt. 

It is difficult to describe the bewilderment and confu- 
sion of the bees of the bankrupt hive who had been 
absent at the time of the catastrophe, and who arrived 
from time to time with full cargoes from abroad. At 
first they wheeled about in the air, in the place where 
the fallen tree had once reared its head, astonished at 
finding it all a vacuum. At length, as if comprehend- 
ing their disaster, they settled down in clusters on a dry 
branch of a neighbouring tree, whence they seemed to 
contemplate the prostrate ruin, and to buzz forth dole- 
ful lamentations over the downfall of their republic. 



A GOOD CONSCIENCE. 15 

A GOOD CONSCIENCE. 

Anonymous. 

My mind to me a kingdom is ; 

Such perfect jo} T therein I find 
As far exceeds all earthly bliss, 

That God or Nature hath assign'd : 
Though much I want, that most would have. 
Yet still my mind forbids to crave. 

Content I live, this is my stay ; 

I seek no more than may suffice : 
I press to bear no haughty sway ; 

Look, what I lack, nry mind supplies. 
Lo ! thus I triumph like a king, 
Content with what my mind doth bring. 

I see how plenty surfeits oft, 

And hasty climbers soonest fall ; 
I see that such as sit aloft 

Mishap cloth threaten most of all : 
These get with toil, and keep with fear ; 
Such cares my mind could never bear. 

Some have too much, yet still they crave ; 

I little have, yet seek no more : 
They are but poor, though much they have ; 

And I am rich with little store : 
The}' poor, I rich ; they beg, I give ; 
The} T lack, I lend ; the} T pine, I live. 

I laugh not at another's loss, 

I grudge not at another's gain ; 
No worldly wave my mind can toss, 

I brook what is another's bane : 
I fear no foe, nor fawn on friend : 
I loathe not life, nor dread my end. 



16 CHOICE READINGS. 

I wish but what I have at will ; 

I wander not to seek for more ; 
I like the plain, I climb no hill : 

In greater storms I sit on shore, 
And laugh at them that toil in vain 
To get what must be lost again. 

I kiss not where I wish to kill ; 

I feign not love where most I hate ; 
I break no sleep to win my will ; 

I wait not at the mighty's gate ; 
I scorn no poor, I fear no rich ; 
I feel no want, nor have too much. 

My wealth is health and perfect ease ; 

My conscience clear my chief defence 
I never seek by bribes to please, 

Nor by desert to give offence. 
Thus do I live, thus will I die ; 
Would all did live so well as I ! 



»O^C« 

ELEGY WEITTEtf W A COTOTEY CHUEGHYAED. 

Thomas Gray. 

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day, 
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, 
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way, 
And leaves the world to darkness and to me. 

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, 
And all the air a solemn stillness holds, 
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, 
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds ; 

Save that, from yonder iyy-mantled tower, 
The moping owl does to the Moon complain 
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower, 
Molest her ancient solitary reign, 



ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. 17 

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade, 
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, 
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, 
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, 
The swallow twittering from the straw -built shed, 
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn, 
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. 

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn, 
Or busy housewife ply her evening care ; 
No children run to lisp their sire's return, 
Or climb his knees, the envied kiss to share. 

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield, 
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; 
How jocund did they drive their team afield ! 
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke ! 

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil, 
Their homely joys and destiny obscure ; 
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile 
The short and simple annals of the poor. 

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 
Await alike th' inevitable hour : — 
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. 

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, 
If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise, 
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault 
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. 

Can storied urn or animated bust 
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ? 
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust. 
Or Flatfeiy soothe the dull, cold ear of Death? 



18 CHOICE READINGS. 

Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid 
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire ; 
Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd, 
Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre. 

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page, 
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll; 
Chill Penury repress'cl their noble rage, 
And froze the genial current of the soul. 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene 
The dark, unf athom'd caves of ocean bear ; 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air. 

Some village- Hampden, that with dauntless breast 
The little tyrant of his fields withstood, 
Some mute, inglorious Milton here may rest ; 
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood. 

Th' applause of listening senates to command, 
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, 
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land, 
And read their history in a nation's eyes, 

Their lot forbade ; nor circumscribed alone 
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined ; 
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne, 
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind ; 

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide, 
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, 
Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride 
With incense kindled at the Muse's flame. 

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, 
Their sober wishes never learn 'd to stray ; 
Along the cool, sequester'd vale of life 
They kept the noiseless tenour of their way. 



ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD. 19 

Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect, 

Some frail memorial still erected nigh, 

With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd, 

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. 

Their names, their 3-ears, spelt by th' unletter'd Muse, 
The place of fame and elegy supply ; 
And many a holy text around she strews, 
That teach the fustic moralist to die. 

For who, to dumb forgetfulness a pre}', 
Their pleasing, anxious being e'er resign'd, 
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, 
Nor cast one longing, lingering look behind ? 

On some fond breast the parting soul relies, 
Some pious drops the closing e}"e requires ; 
E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries, 
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires. 



Dost in these lines their artless tale relate, 
If, 'chance, by lonely contemplation led, 
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate, — 

Haply some hoaiy-headed swain may say, 
" Oft have we seen him, at the peep of dawn, 
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away, 
To meet the Sun upon the upland lawn. 

There, at the foot of yonder nodding beech 
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high, 
His listless length at noontide would he stretch, 
And pore upon the brook that babbles by. 

Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn, 
Muttering his waj'ward fancies, he would rove, 
Now drooping, woeful-wan, like one forlorn, 
Or crazed with care, or cross'd in hopeless love. 



20 CHOICE READINGS. 

One morn I miss'd him on the customed hill, 
Along the heath, and near his favourite tree : 
Another came ; nor yet beside the rill, 
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he : 

The next, with dirges due, in sad array, 
Slow through the churchwaj'-path we saw him borne. 
Approach, and read (for thou canst read) the lay 
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." 

There scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year, 
By hands unseen, are showers of violets found ; 
The redbreast loves to build and warble there, 
And little footsteps lightly print the ground. 

THE EPITAPH. 

Here rests his head, upon the lap of Earth, 
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown ; 
Fair Science frown'd not on his humble birth, 
And Melancholy mark'd him for her own. 

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere ; 

Heaven did a recompense as largely send : 

He gave to misery, all he had, a tear, — 

He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend. 

No further seek his merits to disclose, 
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode, 
(There they alike in trembling hope repose,) 
The bosom of his Father and his God. 

THE FIEST SETTLER'S STORY. 

Will Cakleton. 

Well, when I first infested this retreat, 
Things to my view look'd frightful incomplete ; 
But I had come with heart-thrift in my song, 
And brought my wife and plunder right along ; 



THE FIRST SETTLER'S STORY. 21 

I hadn't a round-trip ticket to go back. 
And if I had there was no railroad track : 
And drivin' East was what I couldn't endure : 
I hadn't started on a circular tour. 

My girl- wife was as brave as she was good, 
And help'd me every blessed wsly she could ; 
She seem'd to take to every rough old tree, 
As sing'lar as when first she took to me. 
She kep' our little log-house neat as wax, 
And once I caught her fooling with my axe. 
She hadn't the muscle (though she had the heart) 
In out-door work to take an active part ; 
She was delicious, both to hear and see, — 
That pretty wife-girl that kep' house for me. 

Well, neighbourhoods meant counties in those days ; 
The roads didn't have accommodating ways : 
And ma3"be weeks would pass before she'd see — 
And much less talk with — any one but me. 
The Indians sometimes show'd their sun-baked faces, 
But they didn't teem with conversational graces ; 
Some ideas from the birds and trees she stole, 
But 'twasn't like talking with a human soul ; 
And finally I thought that I could trace 
A half heart-hunger peering from her face. 

One night, when I came home unusual late. 
Too hungry and too tired to feel first-rate, 
Her supper struck me wrong, (though I'll allow 
She hadn't much to strike with, anyhow) ; 
And. when I went to milk the cows, and found 
They'd wander'd from their usual feeding ground. 
And maybe'd left a few long miles behind 'em. 
Which I must copy, if I meant to find 'em, 
Flash-quick the stay-chains of my temper broke, 
And in a trice these hot words I had spoke : 



22 CHOICE READINGS. 

" You ought to've kept the animals in view, 
And drove 'em in ; you'd nothing else to do. 
The heft of all our life on me must fall ; 
You just lie round, and let me do it all." 

That speech, — it hadn't been gone a half a minute 
Before I saw the cold black poison in it ; 
And I'd have given all I had, and more, 
To've only safely got it back in-door. 
I'm now what most folks "■ well-to-do" would call : 
I feel to-day as if I'd give it all, 
Provided I through fifty years might reach 
And kill and bury that half-minute speech. 

She handed back no words, as I could hear ; 
She didn't frown ; she didn't shed a tear ; 
Half proud, half crush'd, she stood and look'd me o'er, 
Like some one she had never seen before ! 
But such a sudden anguish-lit surprise 
I never view'd before in human eyes. 
(I've seen it oft enough since in a dream ; 
It sometimes wakes me like a midnight scream.) 

Next morning, when, stone-faced but heavy-hearted. 
With dinner-pail and sharpen'd axe 1 started 
Away for my day's work, she watch'd the door, 
And follow'd me half wa}~ to it or more ; 
And I was just a-turning round at this, 
And asking for my usual good-by kiss ; 
But on her lip I saw a proudish curve, 
And in her eye a shadow of reserve ; 
And she had shown — perhaps half unawares — 
Some little independent breakfast airs ; 
And so the usual parting didn't occur, 
Although her eyes invited me to her ; 
Or rather half invited me, for she 
Didn't advertise to furnish kisses free : 



THE FIRST SETTLER'S STORY. 23 

You always had — that is. I had — to pay 

Full market price, and go more'n half the way. 

So, with a short " Good-bye," I shut the door, 

And left her as I never had before. 

But, when at noon my lunch I came to eat, 

Put up by her so delicately neat, — 

Choicer, somewhat, than yesterday's had been, 

And some fresh, sweet-eyed pansies she'd put in. — 

'* Tender and pleasant thoughts," I knew they meant. — 

It seem'd as if her kiss with me she'd sent ; 

Then I became once more her humble lover, 

And said, " To-night I'll ask forgiveness of her." 

I went home over-early on that eve, 
Having contrived to make myself believe, 
By various signs I kind o' knew and guess'd. 
A thunder-storm was coming from the west. 
('Tis strange, when one sly reason fills the heart. 
How many honest ones will take its part : 
A dozen first-class reasons said 'twas right 
That I should strike home early on that night.) 

Half out of breath, the cabin door I swung, 
With tender heart-words trembling on my tongue ; 
But all within look'd desolate and bare : 
My house had lost its soul, — she was not there ! 
A pencil'd note was on the table spread. 
And these are something like the words it said : 
" The cows have stray' d away again, I fear ; 
I watch'd them pretty close ; don't scold me, dear. 
And where they are I think I nearly know ; 
I heard the bell not very long ago. 
I've hunted for them all the afternoon : 
I'll try once more. — I think Til find them soon. 
Dear, if a burden I have been to you. 
And haven't help'd you as I ought to do. 
Let old-time memories my forgiveness plead ; 
I've tried to do my best. — I have, indeed. 



24 CHOICE READINGS. 

Darling, piece out with love the strength I lack, 
And have kind words for me when I get back." 

Scarce did I give this letter sight and tongue, — 
Some swift-blown rain-drops to the window clung, 
And from the clouds a rough, deep growl proceeded : 
My thunder-storm had come, now 'twasn't needed. 
I rush'd out-door. The air was stain'd with black : 
Night had come early, on the storm-cloud's back : 
And every thing kept dimming to the sight, 
Save when the clouds threw their electric light ; 
When, for a flash, so clean-cut was the view, 
I'd think I saw her, — knowing 'twas not true. 
Through my small clearing dash'cl wide sheets of spray, 
As if the ocean waves had lost their way ; 
Scarcely a pause the thunder-battle made, 
In the bold clamour of its cannonade. 
And she, while I was shelter'd, dry, and warm, 
Was somewhere in the clutches of this storm ! 
She who, when storm-frights found her at her best, 
Had always hid her white face on m}- breast ! 

My clog, who'd skirmish'cl round me all the day, 
Now crouch'd and whimpering, in a corner la}' ; 
I dragg'd him by the collar to the wall, 
I press'd his quivering muzzle to a shawl, — 
u Track her, old boy ! " I shouted ; and he whined, 
Match'd eyes with me, as if to read my mind, 
Then with a yell went tearing through the wood. 
I follow' d him, as faithful as I could. 
No pleasure-trip was that, through flood and flame ; 
We raced with death ; we hunted noble game. 
All night we dragg'd the woods without avail ; 
The ground gotdrench'd, — we could not keep the trail. 
Three times again my cabin home I found, 
Half hoping she might be there, safe and sound ; 
But each time 'twas an unavailing care : 
My house had lost its soul ; she was not there ! 



THE FIRST SETTLER'S STORY. 25 

AVhen, climbing the wet trees, next morning-sun 
Laugh/ d at the rain that the night had done, 
Bleeding and drench'd, by toil and sorrow bent, 
Back to what used to be my home I went. 
But, as I near'd our little clearing-ground, — 
Listen ! — I heard the cow-bell's tinkling sound. 
The cabin door was just a bit ajar ; 
It gleam' d upon my glad eyes like a star. 
" Brave heart," I said, " for such a fragile form ! 
She made them guide her homeward through the storm ! " 
Such pangs of joy I never felt before. 
44 You've come ! " I shouted, and rush'd through the door. 

Yes, she had come, — and gone again. She lay 
With all her young life crush'd and wrench'd away, — 
La} 7 , the heart-ruins of our home among, 
Not far from where I kill'd her with my tongue. 
The rain-drops glitter'd 'mid her hair's, long strands, 
The forest thorns had torn her feet and hands, 
And 'midst the tears — brave tears — that one could trace 
Upon the pale but sweetly resolute face, 
I once again the mournful words could read, 
" I've tried to do my best, — I have, indeed." 

And how I'm mostly done ; my story's o'er ; 
Part of it never breathed the air before. 
'Tisn't over-usual, it must be allow'd, 
To volunteer heart-story to a crowd. 
And scatter 'mongst them confidential tears, 
But 3 T ou'll protect an old man with his } T ears ; 
And wheresoe'er this story's voice can reach, 
This is the sermon I would have it preach : 

Boys flying kites haul in their white-wing' d birds : 
You can't do that wa} T when } 7 ou're flying words. 
" Careful with fire," is good advice we know : 
" Careful with words," is ten times doubly so. 



26 CHOICE READINGS. 

Thoughts unexpress'cl may sometimes fall back dead, 
But God himself can't kill them when they're said ! 
You have my life-grief : do not think a minute 
'Twas told to take up time. There's business in it. 
It sheds advice : whoe'er will take and live it, 
Is welcome to the pain it costs to give it. 



THE BLIND HDDLEB. 

William Wordsworth. 

An Orpheus ! an Orpheus ! Yes, Faith may grow bold, 
And take to herself all the wonders of old ; — 
Near the stately Pantheon you'll meet with the same, 
In the street that from Oxford hath borrow'd its name. 

His station is there ; and he works on the crowd, 
He sways them with harmony merry and loud ; 
He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim, — 
Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him ? 

What an eager assembly ! what an empire is this ! 
The weary have life, and the hungry have bliss ; 
The mourner is cheer'd, and the anxious have rest ; 
And the guilt-burthen'd soul is no longer opprest. 

As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the night, 
So he, where he stands, is a centre of light ; 
It gleams on the face, there, of dusk3 T -brow'd Jack, 
And the pale-visaged Baker's, with basket on back. 

That errand-bound 'Prentice was passing in haste, — 
What matter ! he's caught, and his time runs to waste ; 
The Newsman is stopp'd, though he stops on the fret ; 
And the half-breathless Lamplighter, he's in the net ! 

The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore; 
The Lass with her barrow wheels hither her store ; — 



THE BLIND FIDDLER. 27 

If a thief could be here he might pilfer at ease ; 
She sees the Musician, 'tis all that she sees ! 

He stands, back'd by the wall ; — he abates not his din ; 
His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping in, 
From the old and the young, from the poorest ; and there ! 
The one-pennied Boy has his penny to spare. 

O, blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand 

Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a band ; 

I am glad for him, blind as he is ! — all the while 

If the}' speak, 'tis to praise, and they praise with a smile. 

That tall Man, a giant in bulk and in height, 
Not an inch of his body is free from delight ; 
Can he keep himself still, if he would? O, not he ! 
The music stirs in him like wind through a tree. 

Mark that Cripple who leans on his crutch ; like a tower 
That long has lean'd forward, leans hour after hour ! — 
That Mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound, 
While she dandles the Babe in her arms to the sound. 

Now, coaches and chariots ! roar on like a stream ; 
Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream : 
They are deaf to your murmurs, — they care not for 3*011, 
Nor what ye are flying, nor what ye pursue ! 

oo^Ho* 

HISTOEY. 

James Anthony Froude. 

At the dawn of civilization, when men began to ob- 
serve and think, they found themselves in possession of 
various faculties, — first their five senses, and then im- 
agination, fancy, reason, and memory. They did not 
distinguish one from the other. They did not know 
why one idea of which they were conscious should be 
more true than another. They looked round them in 
continual surprise, conjecturing fantastic explanations 



28 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

of all they saw and heard. Their traditions and their 
theories blended one into another, and their cosmogonies, 
their philosophies, and their histories are all alike imag- 
inative and poetical. It was never perhaps seriously 
believed as a scientific reality that the Sun was the 
chariot of Apollo, or that Saturn had devoured his chil- 
dren, or that Siegfred had been bathed in the dragon's 
blood, or that earthquakes and volcanoes were caused 
by buried giants, who were snorting and tossing in their 
sleep ; but also it was not disbelieved. 

The original historian and the original man of science 
was alike the poet. Before the art of writing was in- 
vented, exact knowledge was impossible. The poet's 
business was to throw into beautiful shapes the current 
opinions, traditions, and beliefs ; and the gifts required 
of him were simply memory, imagination, and music. 
Each celebrated minstrel sang his stories in his own way, 
adding to them, shaping them, colouring them, as suited 
his peculiar genius. The Iliad of Homer, the most 
splendid composition of this kind which exists in the 
world, is simply a collection of ballads. The tale of 
Troy was the heroic story of Greece, which every tribe 
modified or re-arranged. 

The chronicler is not a poet like his predecessor. He 
does not shape out consistent pictures with a beginning, 
a middle, and an end. He is a narrator of events and he 
connects them on a chronological string. He professes 
to be relating facts. He is not idealizing; he is not 
singing the praises of heroes ; he means to be true in the 
literal and commonplace sense of that ambiguous word. 

Neither history nor any other knowledge can be ob- 
tained except by scientific methods. A constructive 
philosophy of it, however, is as yet impossible, and for 
the present, and for a long time to come, we shall be 



CHRISTMAS EVE IN THE OLDEN TIME. 29 

confined to analysis. First one cause and then another 
has interfered from the beginning of time with a correct 
and authentic chronicling of events and actions. Super- 
stition, hero-worship, ignorance of the laws of probabil- 
ity, religious, political, or speculative prejudice, — one 
or other of these has tended from the beginning to give 
us distorted pictures. 

The most perfect English history which exists is to 
be found, in my opinion, in the historical plays of Shake- 
speare. In these plays, rich as they are in fancy and 
imagination, the main bearings of the national story are 
scrupulously adhered to, and, whenever attainable, with 
verbal correctness. Shakespeare's object was to exhibit 
as faithfully as he possibly could the exact character of 
the great actors in the national drama, the circumstances 
which attended them, and the motives, internal and 
external, by which they were influenced. Shakespeare's 
attitude towards human life will become a^ain attaina- 
ble to us only when intelligent people can return to an 
agreement on first principles ; when the common sense 
of the wisest and best among us has superseded the 
theorizing of parties and factions ; when the few but all- 
important truths of our moral condition, which can be 
certainly known, have become the exclusive rule of our 
judgments and actions. 

OHEISTMAS EVE W THE OLDEN TIME. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

Heap on more wood ! — The wind is chill ; 
But, let it whistle as it will, 
We'll keep our merry Christmas still : 
Each age has deem'd the new-born year 
The fittest time for festal cheer. 



30 CHOICE READINGS. 

And well our Christian sires of old 
Loved when the year its course had roll'd, 
And brought blithe Christmas back again, 
With all his hospitable train. 
Domestic and religious rite 
Gave honour to the holy night : 
On Christina's eve the bells were rung ; 
On Christmas eve the Mass was sung ; 
The 011I3' night, in all the year, 
Saw the stoled priest the chalice rear. 
The damsel donn'd her kirtle sheen ; 
The hall was dress'd with holly green ; 
Forth to the wood did merry men go, 
To gather in the mistletoe. 

Then open'd wide the Baron's hall 
To vassal, tenant, serf, and all ; 
Power laid his rod of rule aside, 
And Ceremony doff' d her pride. 
The heir, with roses in his shoes, 
That night might village partner choose ; 
The lord, undelegating, share 
The regular game of " Past and Pair." 
All hail'd, with uncontroll'd delight 
And general voice, the happy night, 
That to the cottage, as the Crown, 
Brought tidings of salvation down. 

The fire, with well-dried logs supplied, 
Went roaring up the chimney wide ; 
The huge hall-table's oaken face, 
Scrubb'd till it shone, the day to grace, 
Bore then upon its massive board 
No marks to part the squire and lord. 
Then was brought in the lusty brawn, 
By old blue-coated serving-man ; 
Then the grim boar's-head frown' d on high, 
Crested with bays and rosemary. 



HO SECTS IX HEAVEN. 31 

Well can the green-garb'd ranger tell 
II . when, and where the monster fell ; 
"What dogs before his death he tore. 
And all the baiting of the boar. 

The vassal round, in good brown bowls 
Garnish' d with ribbons, blithely trowls. 
There the huge surloin reek'd ; hard by 
Plum-porridge stood, and Christmas pie ; 
Nor fail'd old Scotland to produce. 
At such high tide, her savoury goose. 
Then came the merry masquers in. 
And carols roar'd with blithesome din ; 
If unmelodious was the song. 
It was a hearty note, and strong. 

Who lists may in their murmuring see 
Traces of ancient mystery : 
White shirts supplied the masquerade. 
And smutted cheeks the visors made ; 
But. 0. what masquers, richly dight. 
Can boast of bosoms half so light ! 
England was merry England, when 
Old Christmas brought his sports again. 
'Twas Christmas broach'd the mightiest ale, 
"Twas Christmas told the merriest tale : 
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer 
The poor man's heart through half the year. 

-oo^o* 

m SECTS IN HEAVEN. 

Mrs. E. H. J. Cleveland. 

Talking of sects till late one eve. 
Of the various doctrines the saints believe, 
That night I stood, in a troubled dream. 
Bv the side of a darklv flowino- stream. 



32 CHOICE READINGS. 

And a Churchman down to the river came ; 
When I heard a strange voice call his name, 
" Good father, stop ; when you cross this tide, 
You must leave your robes on the other side." 

But the aged father did not mind ; 
And his long gown floated out behind, 
As down to the stream his way he took, 
His pale hands clasping a gilt-edged book : 

" I'm bound for Heaven ; and, when I'm there, 
Shall want my Book of Common Prayer ; 
And, though I put on a starry crown, 
I should feel quite lost without my gown." 

Then he fix'd his eyes on the shining track, 
But his gown was heavy and held him back, 
And the poor old father tried in vain 
A single step in the flood to gain. 

I saw him again on the other side, 
But his silk gown floated on the tide ; 
And no one ask'd, in that blissful spot, 
Whether he belong'd to "the Church " or not. 

Then down to the river a Quaker stray'd ; 
His dress of a sober hue was made : 
" My coat and hat must all be gray, — 
I cannot go any other way." 

Then he button'd his coat straight up to his chin, 
And staidly, solemnly, waded in, 
And his broad-brim m'd hat he puil'd down tight, 
Over his forehead so cold and white. 

But a strong wind carried away his hat ; 
A moment he silently sigh'd over that ; 
And then, as he gazed on the further shore, 
His coat slipp'd off, and was seen no more ; 

As he enter'd Heaven, his suit of gray 
Went quietly, sailing, away, away ; 
And non^of the angels questional him 
About the width of his beaver's brim. 

Next came Dr. Watts, with a bundle of psalms 

Tied nicely up in his aged arms, 

And hymns as many, — a very wise thing, — 

That the people in Heaven, " all round," might sing. 



H€ SECTS EN HEAVEN. 

But I thought that he heaved an anxious sigh, 
When he saw that the river ran broad and high, 
And look'd rather surprised, as one by one 

The psalms and hymns in the wave went down. 

And after him. with his MSS., 

Came Wesley, the pattern of godliness : 

But he cried. " Dear me ! what shall I do ? 

The water has soak"d them through and through. 

And there on the river, far and wide. 
Away they went down the swollen tide : 
And the saint, astonish'd, pass'd through alone. 
Without his manuscripts, up to the throne. 

Then, gravely walking, two saints by name 
Down to the river together came : 
But. as they stopp'd at the river's brink, 
I saw one saint froni the other shrink. 

■ Sprinkled or plunged? may I ask you. friend. 
How you attahrd to life's great end ? " 
M Thus, with a few drops on my brow." 
" But / have been dipp'd. as you'll see me now; 

And I really think it will hardly do. 
As I'm • close communion.' to cross with you : 
You're bound. I know, to the realms of bliss. 
But you must go that way. and I'll go this." 

Then straightway plunging with all his might. 
Away to the left. — his friend to the right. — 
Apart they went from this world of sin. 
But at last together they enter'd in. 

And now. when the river was rolling on. 

A Presbyterian Church went down : 

Of women there seem'd an innumerable throng, 

But the men I could count as they pass'd along. 

And concerning the road they could never agree, 
The old or the ne >c way. which it could be, f 
Xor ever a moment paused to think 
That both would lead to the river's brink. 

And a sound of murmuring, long and loud, 

Came ever up from the moving ere 

<; You're in the old way. and I'm in the new ; 

That is the false, and this is the true " : 

Or, •• I'm in the old way. and you're in the new: 

That is the false, and this is the fern 



34 CHOICE READINGS. 

But the brethren only seem'd to speak : 
Modest the sisters walk'd and meek, 
And, if one of them ever chanced to say 
What troubles she met with on the way, 
How she long'd to pass to the other side, 
Nor fear'd to cross over the swelling tide, 
A voice arose from the brethren then : 
" Let no one speak but the ' holy men ' ; 
For have ye not heard the words of Paul, 
' O, let the women keep silence all ' ? " 

I watch'd them long in my curious dream, 
Till they stood by the borders of the stream 
Then, just as I thought, the two ways met ; 
But all the brethren were talking yet, 
And would talk on till the heaving tide 
Carried them over side by side, — 
Side by side, for the way was one : 
The toilsome journey of life was done ; 
And all who in Christ the Saviour died 
Came out alike on the other side. 

No forms or crosses or books had they ; 
No gowns of silk or suits of gray ; 
No creeds to guide them, or MSS. ; 
For all had put on Christ's righteousness. 



EDWIN AND ANGELINA. 

Oliver Goldsmith. 

" Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale, 
And guide my lonely way, 

To where yon taper cheers the vale 
With hospitable ray : 

For here forlorn and lost I tread, 
• With fainting steps and slow ; 
Where wilds, immeasurably spread, 
Seem lengthening as I go." 

" Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries, 
" To tempt the dangerous gloom ; 

For yonder faithless phantom flies 
To lure thee to thy doom. 



Here to the houseless child of want 

1 _ loor is open still : 
And. though my portion is but scant, 

I give it with good will- 
Then turn to-night, and freely share 

Whatever my cell besr 
My shy conch and frugal : . e . 

If j blessing and repose. 

Xo flocks that range the valley free 

T : slaughter I condemn ; 
Taught by that Power that pities me. 

I learn to pity them : 

But from the mountain "s grassy side 
_ _ rittless feast I bring : 

ip with herbs and fruits supplied. 
And water from the spring. 

Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ; 

All earth-born cares are wrong : 
Man wants bnt little here below. 

Not wants that little long." 

Soft as the dew from heaven descends, 

His gentle accents fell : 
The modest stranger lowly bends, 

And follows to the cell. 

Far in a wilde: less : - :ure 

The lonely mansion b 
A i rage to the neighbouring poor, 

And strangers led st 

N -rores beneath its humble thatch 

Beq aired a master's care : 
The wicket, opening with a latch. 

Received the harmless pair. 



36 CHOICE READINGS. 

And now, when busy crowds retire 
To take their evening rest, 

The Hermit trimm'd his little fire, 
And cheer' d his pensive guest ; 

And spread his vegetable store, 
And gaily press'd and smiled ; 

And, skilPd in legendary lore, 
The lingering hours beguiled. 

Around in sympathetic mirth 

Its tricks the kitten tries ; 
The cricket chirrups in the hearth, 

The crackling faggot flies. 

But nothing could a charm impart, 
To soothe the stranger's woe ; 

For grief was heavy at his heart, 
And tears began to flow. 

His rising cares the Hermit spied, 
With answering care opprest : 

" And whence, unhappy youth,'* he cried, 
' ' The sorrows of thy breast ? 

From better habitations spurn'd, 

Reluctant dost thou rove ? 
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd, 

Or unregarded love ? 

Alas ! the joys that fortune brings, 

Are trifling and decay ; 
And those who prize the paltry things, 

More trifling still than they. 

And what is friendship but a name, 
A charm that lulls to sleep ; 

A shade that follows wealth or fame, 
But leaves the wretch to weep? 



EDWIN AND ANGELINA. 37 

And love is still an empty sound, 

The modern fair-one's jest ; 
On Earth unseen, or only found 

To- warm the turtle's nest. 

For shame, fond youth ! thy sorrows hush, 

And spurn the sex," he said : 
But while he spoke, a rising blush 

His love-lorn guest betray'd. 

Surprised he sees new beauties rise, 

Swift mantling to the view ; 
Like colours o'er the morning skies, 

As bright, as transient too. 

The bashful look, the rising breast, 

Alternate spread alarms : 
The lovely stranger stands confest 

A maid in all her charms. 

"And, ah ! forgive a stranger rude, 

A wretch forlorn," she cried; 
" Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude 

Where Heaven and you reside. 

But let a maid thy pity share, 

Whom love has taught to stray ; 
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair 

Companion of her way. 

My father lived beside the Tyne, 

A wealthy lord was he ; 
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine, — 

He had but only me. 

To win me from his tender arms, 

Unnumber'd suitors came; 
Who praised me for imputed charms, 

And felt or feign' d a flame. 



38 CHOICE READINGS. 

Each hour a mercenary crowd 
With richest proffers strove ; 

Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd, 
But never talk'd of love. 

In humblest, simplest habit clad, ■ 
No wealth nor power had he ; 

Wisdom and worth were all he had, 
But these were all to me. 

And when, beside me in the dale, 

He caroll'd lays of love, 
His breath lent fragrance to the gale, 

And music to the grove. 

The blossom opening to the day, 
The dews of Heaven refined, 

Could nought of purity displa}^ 
To emulate his mind. 

The dew, the blossom on the tree, 
With charms inconstant shine ; 

Their charms were his, but, woe to me ! 
Their constancy was mine. 

For still I tried each fickle art, 

Importunate and vain ; 
And, while his passion touch'd my heart, 

I triumph'd in his pain ; 

Till, quite dejected with my scorn, 

He left me to my pride ; 
And sought a solitude forlorn, 

In secret where he died. 

But mine the sorrow, mine the fault, 
And well my life shall pa}' : 

I'll seek the solitude he sought, 
And stretch me where he lay. 



ALPINE MINSTRELSY. 39 

And there, forlorn, despairing, hid, 

I'll lay me down and die ; 
'Twas so for me that Edwin did, 

And so for him will I." 

" Forbid it, Heaven ! " the Hermit cried, 

And clasp' d her to his breast : 
The wondering fair-one turn'd to chide, — 

'Twas Edwin's self that press'd. 

" Turn, Angelina, ever dear, 

My charmer, turn to see 
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here, 

Restored to love and thee. 

Thus let me hold thee to nry heart, 

And every care resign." 
" And shall we never, never part, 

My life, — my all that's mine ? " 

" No, never from this hour to part, 

We'll live and love so true ; 
The sigh that rends thy constant heart 

Shall break thy Edwin's too." 

^Oj«<OC — 

ALPINE MDTSTBELSY. 

Schiller: Translated by Theodore Martin. 
FISHER-BOY, IN HIS BOAT. 

The clear smiling lake woo'd to bathe in its deep ; 

A boy on its green shore had laid him to sleep ; 

Then heard he a melody flowing and soft, 

And sweet, as when Angels are singing aloft : 

And as, thrilling with pleasure, he wakes from his rest, 

The waters are murmuring over his breast ; 

And a voice from the deep cries, " With me thou must go ; 

I charm the young shepherd, I lure him below." 



40 CHOICE READINGS. 

HERDSMAN, ON THE MOUNTAIN. 

Farewell," ye green meadows, farewell, sunny shore! 
The herdsman must leave you, the Summer is o'er. 
We go to the hills, but }~ou'll see us again, 
When the cuckoo is calling, and wood-notes are gay, 
When flowerets are blooming in dingle and plain, 
And the brooks sparkle up in the sunshine of May. 
Farewell, }*e green meadows, farewell, sunny shore ! 
The herdsman must leave you, the Summer is o'er. 

CHAMOIS-HUNTER, ON THE TOP OF A CLIFF. 

On the heights peals the thunder, and trembles the bridge ; 

The huntsman bounds on b} T the dizzying ridge : 

Undaunted he hies him o'er ice-cover'd wild, 

Where leaf never budded, nor Spring ever smiled ; 

And beneath him an ocean of mist, where his eye 

No longer the dwellings of man can espy : 

Through the parting clouds only the earth can be seen, 

Far down 'neath the vapour the meadows of green. 



A LEGEND OF BKEGEtfZ. 

Adelaide A. Procter. 

Girt round with rugged mountains the fair Lake Constance 

lies ; 
In her blue heart reflected, shine back the starry skies ; 
And, watching each white cloudlet float silently and slow, 
You think a piece of Heaven lies on our Earth below ! 

Midnight is there ; and silence, enthroned in heaven, looks 

down 
Upon her own calm mirror, upon a sleeping town : 
For Bregenz, that quaint cny upon the Tyrol shore, 
Has stood above Lake Constance a thousand years and more. 

Her battlements and towers, upon their rocky steep, 
Have cast their trembling shadows for ages on the deep ; 



A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 41 

Mountain, and lake, and valle} 1 - a sacred legend know, 
Of how the town was saved one night, three hundred years 
ago. 

Far from her home and kindred, a Tyrol maid had fled, 
To serve in the Swiss valleys, and toil for daily bread ; 
And every year that fleeted so silently and fast 
Seem'd to bear further from her the memory of the past. 

She served kind, gentle masters, nor ask'd for rest or change ; 
Her friends seem'd no more new ones, their speech seem'd 

no more strange ; 
And, when she led her cattle to pasture every day, 
She ceased to look and wonder on which side Bregenz lay. 

She spoke no more of Bregenz, with longing and with tears ; 
Her Tyrol home seem'd faded in a deep mist of years ; 
She heeded not the rumours of Austrian war or strife ; 
Each day she rose contented, to the calm toils of life. 

Yet, when her master's children would clustering round her 

stand, 
She sang them the old ballads of her own native land ; 
And, when at morn and evening she knelt before God's 

throne, 
The accents of her childhood rose to her lips alone. 

And so she dwelt : the valle}^ more peaceful year b}- year ; 
When suddenby strange portents of some great deed seem'd 

near. 
The golden corn was bending upon its fragile stalk, 
While farmers, heedless of their fields, paced up and down 

in talk. 

The men seem'd stern and alter'd, with looks cast on the 

ground ; 
With anxious faces, one by one, the women gather'd round ; 
All talk of flax, or spinning, or work, was put away ; 
The very children seem'd afraid to go alone to play» 



42 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

One da}', out in the meadow with strangers from the town, 
Some secret plan discussing, the men walk'd up and down. 
Yet now and then seem'd watching a strange uncertain 

gleam, 
That look'd like lances 'mid the trees that stood below Iho 

stream. 

At eve they all assembled, all care and doubt were fled ; 
With jovial laugh the}' feasted, the board was nobly spread. 
The elder of the village rose up, his glass in hand, 
And cried, " We drink the downfall of an accursed land ! 

The night is growing darker ; ere one more day is flown 
Bregenz, our foemen's stronghold, Bregenz shall be our 

own ! " 
The women shrank in terror, (yet pride, too, had her part,) 
But one poor Tyrol maiden felt death within her heart. 

Before her stood fair Bregenz, once more her towers arose ; 
What were the friends beside her? Only her country's foes ! 
The faces of her kinsfolk, the days of childhood flown, 
The echoes of her mountains reclaim'd her as their own ! 

Nothing she heard around her, (though shouts rang forth 

again,) 
Gone were the green Swiss valleys, the pasture, and the 

plain ; 
Before her eyes one vision, and in her heart one cry, 
That said, "Go forth, save Bregenz, and then, if need be, 

die ! " 

With trembling haste and breathless, with noiseless step she 

sped ; 
Horses and weary cattle were standing in the shed ; 
She loosed the strong white charger, that fed from out her 

hand, 
She mounted and she tura'd his head toward her native land. 



A LEGEND OF BREGENZ. 43 

Out — out into the darkness — faster, and still more fast ; 
The smooth grass flies behind her, the chestnut wood is 

pass'd ; 
She looks up ; clouds are heavy : Why is her steed so slow ? — 
Scarcely the wind beside them can pass them as they go. 

"Faster!" she cries, u O, faster!" Eleven the church- 
bells chime : 

" O God," she cries, " help Bregenz, and bring me there in 
time!" 

But louder than bells' ringing, or lowing of the kine, 

Grows nearer in the midnight the rushing of the Rhine. 

Shall not the roaring waters their headlong gallop check ? 
The steed draws back in terror, she leans above his neck 
To watch the flowing darkness, the bank is high and steep ; 
One pause, — he staggers forward, and plunges in the deep. 

She strives to pierce the blackness, and looser throws the 

rein ; 
Her steed must breast the waters that dash above his mane : 
How gallantly, how nobly, he struggles through the foam, 
And see, in the far distance shine out the lights of home ! 

Up the steep bank he bears her, and now they rush again 
Towards the heights of Bregenz, that tower above the plain. 
The}' reach the gate of Bregenz, just as the midnight rings, 
And out come serf and soldier to meet the news she brings. 

Bregenz is saved ! Ere daylight her battlements are mann'd ; 
Defiance greets the army that marches on the land : 
And, if to deeds heroic should endless fame be paid, 
Bregenz does well to honour the noble Tyrol maid. 

Three hundred 3~ears are vanish'd, and yet upon the hill 
An old stone gateway rises, to do her honour still. 
And there, when Bregenz women sit spinning in the shade, 
They see in quaint old carving the charger and the maid. 



44 CHOICE READINGS. 

And when, to guard old Bregenz, by gateway, street, and 

tower, 
The warder paces all night long, and calls each passing hour : 
u Nine," " ten," " eleven," he cries aloud, and then (O crown 

of fame !) 
When midnight pauses in the skies he calls the maiden's 

name. 

THE KIDE OP JENNIE M'NEAL. 

Will Carleton. 

Paul Revere was a rider bold, — 
Well has his valorous deed been told ; 
Sheridan's ride was a glorious one, — 
Often it has been dwelt upon ; 
But why should men do all the deeds 
On which the love of a patriot feeds ? 
Hearken to me, while I reveal 
The dashing ride of Jennie M'Neal. 

On a spot as pretty as might be found 

In the dangerous length of the Neutral Ground, 

In a cottage, cozy, and all their own, 

She and her mother lived alone. 

Safe were the two, with their frugal store, 

From all the many who pass'd their door ; 

For Jennie's mother was strange to fears, 

And Jennie was large for fifteen years : 

With vim her eyes were glistening, 

Her hair was the hue of a blackbird's wing; 

And, while her friends who knew her well 

The sweetness of her heart could tell, 

A gun that hung on the kitchen wall 

Look'd solemnly quick to heed her call ; 

And they who were evil-minded knew 

Her nerve was strong and her aim was true. 

So all kind words and acts did deal 

To generous, black-eyed Jennie M'Neal. 

One night, when the Sun had crept to bed, 
And rain-clouds linger'd overhead, 
And sent their surly drops for proof 
To drum a tune on the cottage roof, 



THE RIDE OF JENNIE m'nEAL. 45 

Close after a knock at the outer door 
There enter'd a dozen dragoons or more. 
Their red coats, stain'd by the muddy road, 
That they were British soldiers show'd : 
The captain his hostess bent to greet, 
Saying, " Madam, please give us a bit to eat ; 
We will pay you well, and, if may be, 
This bright-eyed girl for pouring our tea ; 
Then we must dash ten miles ahead, 
To catch a rebel colonel a-bed. 
He is visiting home, as doth appear ; 
We will make his pleasure cost him dear." 
And they fell on the hasty supper with zeal, 
Close-watch'd the while by Jennie M'Neal. 

For the gray-hair'd colonel tfcey hover'd near 
Had been her true friend, kind and dear ; 
And oft, in her younger da}~s, had he 
Right proudly perch'd her upon his knee, 
And told her stories many a one 
Concerning the French war lately done. 
And oft together the two friends were, 
And many the arts he had taught to her ; 
She had limited by his fatherly side, 
He had shown her how to fence and ride ; 
And once had said, " The time may be, 
Your skill and courage may stand by me." 
So sorrow for him she could but feel, 
Brave, grateful-hearted Jennie M'Xeal. 

With never a thought or a moment more, 
Bare-headed she slipp'd from the cottage door, 
Ran out where the horses were left to feed, 
Unhitch'd and mounted the captain's steed, 
And down the hilly and rock-strewn way 
She urged the fiery horse of gray. 
Around her slender and cloakless form 
Patter'd and moan'd the ceaseless storm ; 
Secure and tight a gloveless hand 
Grasp'd the reins with stern command; 
And full and black her long hair stream'd, 
Whenever the ragged lightning gleam'd. 
And on she rush'd for the colonel's weal, 
Brave, lioness-hearted, Jennie M'Xeal. 

Hark ! from the hills, a moment mute, 
Came a clatter of hoofs in hot pursuit ; 
And a cry from the foremost trooper said, 
" Halt ! or your blood be on your head ! " 



46 CHOICE READINGS. 

She heeded it not, and not in vain 

She lash'd the horse with the bridle rein ; 

So into the night the gray horse strode ; 

His shoes hew'd fire from the rocky road ; 

And the high-born courage that never dies 

Flash'd from his rider's coal-black eyes : 

The pebbles flew from the fearful race ; 

The rain-drops grasp'd at her glowing face. 

" On, on, brave beast ! " with loud appeal, 

Cried eager, resolute Jennie M'JSTeal. 

" Halt ! " once more came the voice of dread ; 

" Halt ! or your blood be on your head ! " 

Then, no one answering to the calls, 

Sped after her a volley of balls. 

They pass'd her in her rapid flight, 

They scream'd to her left, they scream'd to her right 

But, rushing still o'er the slippery track, 

She sent no token of answer back, 

Except a silvery laughter peal, 

Brave, merry-hearted Jennie M'rTeal. 

So on she rush'd, at her own good will, 

Through wood and valley, o'er plain and bill : 

The gray horse did his duty well, 

Till all at once he stumbled and fell, 

Himself escaping the nets of harm, 

But flinging the girl with a broken arm. 

Still undismay'd by the numbing pain, 

She clung to the horse's bridle rein, 

And gently bidding him to stand, 

Petted him with her able hand; 

Then sprung again to the saddle-bow, 

And shouted, " One more trial now ! " 

As if ashamed of the heedless fall, 

He gather'd his strength once more for all, 

And, galloping down a hill-side steep, 

Gain'd on the troopers at every leap ; 

No more the high-bred steed did reel, 

But ran his best for Jennie M'Neal. 



They were a furlong behind, or more, 
When the girl burst through the colonel's door, 
Her poor- arm helpless hanging with pain, 
And she all drabbled and drench 'd with rain, 
But her cheeks as red as fire-brands are, 
And her eyes as bright as a blazing star, — 
And shouted, " Quick! be quick, I say ! 
They come ! they come ! Away ! away ! " 



MAUD MULLER. 47 



Then sunk on the rude white floor of deal 
Poor, brave, exhausted Jennie M'Xeal. 



The startled colonel sprung, and press'd 

The wife and children to his breast, 

And turn'd away from his fireside bright, 

And glided into the stormy night ; 

Then soon and safely made his way 

To where the patriot army lay. 

But first he bent, in the dim fire-light, 

And kiss'd the forehead broad and white, 

And bless'd the girl who had ridden so well 

To keep him out of a prison-cell. 

The girl roused up at the martial din, 

Just as the troopers came rushing in, 

And laugh'd, e'en in the midst of a moan, 

Saying, " Good sirs, your bird has flown : 

'Tis I who have scared him from his nest ; 

So deal with me now as you think best." 

But the grand young captain bow'd, and said, 

" Never hold a moment's dread : 

Of womankind I must crown you queen ; 

So brave a girl I have never seen : 

Wear this gold ring as your valour's due ; 

And when peace conies I will come for you." 

But Jennie's face an arch smile wore, 

As she said, " There's a lad in Putnam's corps ? 

Who told me the same, long time ago ; 

You two would never agree, I know : 

I promised my love to be true as steel," 

Said good, sure-hearted Jennie M']SeaL 



MAUD MULLEE. 

J. G. Whittier. 

Maud Muller, on a Summer's day, 
Raked the meadows sweet with hay : 

Beneath her torn hat glow'd the wealth 
Of simple beauty and rustic health : 



48 CHOICE READINGS. 

Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee 
The mock-bird echo'd from his tree. 

But, when she glanced to the far-off town, 
White from its hill-slope looking down, 

The sweet song died, and a vague unrest 
And a nameless longing fill'd her breast, — 

A wish, that she hardly dared to own, 
For something better than she had known. 

The Judge rode slowly down the lane, 
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane. 

He drew his bridle in the shade 

Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid, 

And ask a draught from the spring that flow'd 
Through the meadow across the road. 

She stoop'd where the cool spring bubbled up, 
And fill'd for him her small tin cup, 

And blush'd as she gave it, looking down 
On her feet so bare, and her tatter'd gown. 

" Thanks ! " said the Judge ; " a sweeter draught 
From a fairer hand was never quaffd." 

He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees, 
Of the singing birds and the humming bees ; 

4 

Then talk'd of the haying, and wonder'd whether 
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather. 

And Maud forgot her brier- torn gown, 
And her graceful ankles bare and brown ; 

And listen'd, while a pleased surprise 
Look'd from her long-lash'd hazel-eyes. 



MAUD MULLER. 49 



At last, like one who for delay 
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away. 

Maud Muller look'd and sigh'd : " Ah, me ! 
That I the Judge's bride might be ! 



He would dress me up in silks so fine, 
And praise and toast me at his wine. 

My father should wear a broadcloth coat ; 
My brother should sail a painted boat. 

I'd dress my mother so grand and gay ; 

And the baby should have a new to}* each day. 

And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor, 
And all should bless me who left our door." 

The Judge look'd back as he climb'd the hill, 
And saw Maud Muller standiug still. 

" A form more fair, a face more sweet, 
Ne'er hath it been my lot to meet. 

And her modest answer and graceful air 
Show her wise and good as she is fair. 

Would she were mine, and I to-day, 
Like her a harvester of hay : 

No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs, 
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues, 

But low of cattle and song of birds, 
And health and quiet and loving words." 

But he thought of his sisters proud and cold, 
And his mother vain of her rank and gold. 

So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on, 
And Maud was left in the field alone. 



50 CHOICE READINGS. 

But the lawyers smiled that afternoon, 
When he humm'd in court an old love-tune ; 

And the young girl mused beside the well, 
Till the rain on the unraked clover fell. 

He wedded a wife of richest dower, 
Who lived for fashion, as he for power. 

Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow, 
He watch'd a picture come and go ; 

And sweet Maud Muller's hazel eyes 
Look'd out in their inuocent surprise. 

Oft, when the wiue in his glass was red, 
He long'd for the wayside well instead ; 

And closed his eyes on his garnish'd rooms, 
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms. 

And the proud man sigh'd, with a secret pain s 
" Ah, that I were free again ! 

Free as when I rode that day, 

Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay." 

She wedded a man unlearn'd and poor, 
And many children play'd round her door. 

And oft, when the summer Sun shone hot 
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot, 

And she heard the little spring brook fall 
Over the roadside, through the wall, 

In the shade of the apple-tree again 
She saw a rider draw his rein. 

And, gazing down with timid grace, 
She felt his pleased eyes read her face. 



mona's waters. 51 

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls 
Stretch'd away into stately halls ; 

The weary wheel to a spinnet turn'd, 
The tallow candle an astral burn'd, 

And for him who sat by the chimney lug, 
Dozing and grumbling o'er pipe and mug, 

A manly form at her side she saw, 
And joy was duty and love was law. 

Then she took up her burden of life again, 
Saying only, " It might have been." 

Alas for maiden, alas for Judge, 

For rich repiner and household drudge ! 

God pity them both ! and pity us all, 
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall. 

For of all sad words of tongue or pen, 

The saddest are these, ' c It might have been ! " 

Ah, well ! for us all some sweet hope lies 
Deeply buried from human eyes ; 

And, in the. hereafter, angels may 
Roll the stone from its grave away ! 



MONA'S WATERS. 

O, Mona's waters are blue and bright 

When the Sun shines out like a gay young lover 
But Mona's waves are dark as night 

When the face of heaven is clouded over. 
The wild wind drives the crested foam 

Far up the steep and rocky mountain, 
And booming echoes drown the voice, 

The silvery voice, of Mona's fountain. 



52 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

Wild, wild against that mountain's side 

The wrathful waves were up aud beating, 
When stem Glenvarloch's chieftain came : 

With anxious brow and hurried greeting- 
He bade the widow'd mother send 

(While loud the tempest's voice was raging) 
Her fair young son across the flood, 

Where winds and waves their strife were waging 



And still that fearful mother pray'd, 

•'O. yet delay, delay till morning, 
For weak the hand that guides our bark, 

Though brave his heart, all danger scorning." 
Little did stern Glenvarloch heed : 

*• The safety of my fortress-tower 
Depends on tidings he must bring 

From Fairlee bank, within the hour. 

See'st thou, across the sullen wave. 

A blood-red banner wildly streaming? 
That flag a message brings to me 

Of which my foes are little dreaming. 
The boy must put his boat aero--. 

(Gold shall repay his hour of danger.) 
And bring me back, with care aud speed. 

Three letters from the light-brow'd stranger." 

The orphan boy leap'd lightly in ; 

Bold was his eye and brow of beauty. 
And bright his smile as thus he spoke : 

k - 1 do but pay a vassal's duty ; 
Fear not for me. O mother dear ! 

See how the boat the tide is spurning ; 
The storm will cease, the sky will clear. 

And thou wilt watch me safe returning." 

His bark shot on. now np, now down. 
Over the waves. — the snowy-crested : 



MOXA S WATERS. 

Now like a dart it sped along, 

Now like a whitc-wing'd sea-bird rested ; 
And ever, when the wind sank low, 

Smote on the ear that woman's wailing, 
As long she watch'd with streaming eyes 

That fragile bark's uncertain sailing. 

lie reach'd the shore, — the letters claim'd ; 

Triumphant, heard the stranger's wonder 
That one so young should brave alone 

The heaving lake, the rolling thunder. 
And once again his snowy sail 

Was seen by her, that mourning mother; 
And onee she heard his shouting voice, 

That voice the waves were soon to smother. 

Wild burst the wind, wide flapp'd the sail, 

A crashing peel of thunder follow'd ; 
The gust swept o'er the water's face;, 

And caverns in the deep lake hollow'd. 
The gust swept past, the waves grew calm, 

The thunder died along the mountain ; 
]>ut where was he who used to play, 

On sunny days, by Mona's fountain? 

His cold corpse floated to the shore, 

Where knelt his lone and shrieking mother; 
And bitterly she wept for him, 

The widow's son, who had no brother! 
She raised his arm, — the hand was closed ; 

With pain his stiffen'd fingers parted, 
And on the sand three letters dropp'd ! — 

His hist dim thought, — the faithful-hearted., 

Glenvarloch gazed, and on his brow 

Remorse with pain and grief seem'd blending ; 
A purse of gold he flung beside 

That mother o'er her dead child bending. 



54 CHOICE READINGS. 

O, wildly laugh'd that woman then : 

" Glenvarloch ! would ye dare to measure 

The holy life that God has given 
Against a heap of golden treasure ? 

Ye spurn'd my prayer, for we were poor ; 

But know, proud man, that God hath power 
To smite the king on Scotland's throne, 

The chieftain in his fortress-tower. 
Frown on ! frown on ! I fear ye not ; 

We've done the last of chieftain's bidding; 
And cold he lies, for whose young sake 

I used to bear your wrathful chiding. 

Will gold bring back his cheerful voice, 

That used to win nry heart from sorrow? 
Will silver warm the frozen blood, 

Or make my heart less lone to-morrow ? 
Go back and seek } T our mountain home, 

And when ye kiss your fair-hair'd daughter, 
Remember him who died to-night 

Beneath the waves of Mona's water." 

Old years roll'd on, and new ones came, — 

Foes dare not brave Glenvarloch' s tower ; 
But nought could bar the sickness out 

That stole within fair Annie's bovver. 
The o'erblown floweret in the sun 

Sinks languid down, and withers daily, 
And so she sank, — her voice grew faint, 

Her laugh no longer sounded gayly. 

Her step fell on the old oak floor 

As noiseless as the snow-shower's drifting ; 

And from her sweet and serious eyes 
They seldom saw the dark lid lifting. 

u Bring aid ! Bring aid ! " the father cries ; 
" Bring aid ! " each vassal's voice is crying ; 



AN ODE TO THE PASSIONS. 55 

" The fair-hair'd beauty of the isles, 
Her pulse is faint, her life is flying ! " 

He call'd in vain ; her dim eyes turn'd 

And met his own with parting sorrow ; 
For well she knew, that fading girl, 

That he must weep and wail the morrow. 
Her faint breath ceased ; the father bent 

And gazed upon his fair-hair'd daughter. 
What thought he on? The widow's son, 

And the stormy night by Mona's water. 



AS ODE TO THE PASSIONS. 

William Collins. 

When Music, heavenly maid, was young, 
Ere yet in earl}- Greece she sung, 
The Passions oft, to hear her shell, 
Throng'd around her magic cell ; 
Exulting, trembling, raging, fainting, 
Possess'd beyond the Muse's painting, 
By turns the}- felt the glowing mind, 
Disturb'd, delighted, raised, refined ; 
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired, 
Fill'd with fury, rapt, inspired, 
From the supporting myrtles round, 
They seized her instruments of sound ; 
And, as they oft had heard, apart, 
Sweet lessons of her forceful art, 
Each — for madness ruled the hour — 
Would prove his own expressive power. 

First Fear, his hand, its skill to try, 
Amid the chords bewilder'd laid; 

And back recoiPd — - he knew not why — - 
E'en at the sound himself had made ! 



56 CHOICE READINGS. 

Next Anger rush'd, his eyes on fire, 

In lightnings own'd his secret stings ; 
In one rude clash he struck the lyre, 

And swept with hurried hand the strings. 

With woeful measure, wan Despair — 

Low sullen sounds — his grief beguiled ; 
A solemn, strange, and mingled air, 

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild ! 

But thou, Hope, with eyes so fair, 

What was thy delighted measure ? 

Still it whisper'd promised pleasure, 
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail ! 
Still would her touch the strain prolong, 

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale, 
She call'd on Echo still through all the song ; 
And, where her sweetest themes she chose, 
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close ; 
And Hope, enchanted, smiled, and waved her golden hair : 
And longer had she sung, — but, with a frown, 

Revenge impatient rose ; 
He threw his blood-stain'd sword in thunder down, 

And, with a withering look, 

The war-denouncing trumpet took, 
And blew a blast so loud and dread, 
Were ne'er prophetic sounds so full of woe ; 

And ever and anon he beat 

The doubling drum with furious heat ; 
And though sometimes, each dreary pause between, 

Dejected Pity, at his side, 

Her soul-subduing voice applied, 
Yet still he kept his wild nnalter'd mien, 
While each strain'dball of sight seem'd bursting from his head ! 

Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fix'd, 

Sad proof of thy distressful state ; 
Of differing themes, the veering song was mix'd ; 
And now it courted Love, now raving call'd on Hate ! 



AN ODE TO THE PASSIONS. 57 

With eyes upraised, as one inspired, 

Pale Melancholy sat retired ; 

And from her wild sequester' d seat, 

In notes by distance made more sweet, 

Pour'd through the mellow horn her pensive soul ; 

And, dashing soft from rocks around, 

Bubbling runnels join'd the sound : 
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole, 
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay. 

Round a holy calm diffusing, 

Love of peace and lonely musing, 
In hollow murmurs died away. 

But, O, how alter'd was its sprightlier tone ! 
When Cheerfulness, a nymph of healthiest hue, 

Her bow across her shoulder flung, 

Her buskins ^emm'd with morning- dew, 

Blew an inspiring air. that dale and thicket rung, 

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dryad known. 

The oak-crown'd sisters and their chaste-eyed Queen, 

Satyrs and sylvan boys were seen, 

Peeping from forth their alleys green ; 

Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear, 

And Sport leap'd up, and seized his beechen spear. 

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial : 

He, with viny crown advancing, 

First to the lively pipe his hand address'd ; 

But soon he saw the brisk, awakening viol, 

Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best. 

They would have thought, who heard the strain, 
They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids. 
Amidst the festal-sounding shades, 

To some unwearied minstrel dancing ; 

While, as his flying fingers kiss'd the strings, 

Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round; 



58 CHOICE READINGS. 

Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound; 
And he, amidst his frolic play, — 
As if he would the charming air repay, — 
Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings. 



Atf OKDER POK A PICTURE. 

Alice Cary. 

O good painter, tell me true, 

Has your hand the cunning to draw 
Shapes of things that you never saw ? 

Ay ? Well, here is an order for you. 

Woods and cornfields, a little brown, — 
The picture must not be over-bright, 
Yet all in the golden and gracious light 
Of a cloud, when the summer Sun is down. 
Alway and alway, night and morn, 
Woods upon woods, with fields of corn 
Lying between them, not quite sere, 
And not in the full, thick, leaf} T bloom, 
When the wind can hardly find breathing-room 

Under their tassels, — cattle near, 
Biting shorter the short green grass, 
And a hedge of sumach and sassafras, 
With bluebirds twittering all around, — 
(Ah, good painter, you can't paint sound !) 
These, and the house where I was born, 
Low and little, and black and old, 
With children, many as it can hold, 
All at the windows, open wide, — 
Heads and shoulders clear outside, 
And fair young faces all ablush : 

Perhaps 3'ou ma} r have seen, some day, 
Roses crowding the self-same way, 
Out of a wilding, wayside bush. 



AX ORDER FOR A PICTURE. 59 

Listen closer : When yon have clone 

With wcods and cornfields and grazing herds, 

A lad} 7 , the lovliest ever the Sun 
Look'd down upon, you must paint for me ; 
O, if I only could make }~ou see 

The clear blue eyes, the tender smile, 
The sovereign sweetness, the gentle grace, 
The woman's soul, and the angel's face, 

That are beaming on me all the while, 

I need not speak these foolish words : 

Yet one word tells you all I would say, — ■ 
She is my mother : 3011 will agree 

That all the rest may be thrown away. 

Two little urchins at her knee 
You must paint, sir ; one like me, 
The other with a clearer brow, 

And the light of his adventurous e3 T es 

Flashing with boldest enterprise : 
At ten years old he went to sea, — 

God knoweth if he be living now ; 

He sail'd in the good ship Commodore ; 
Nobody ever cross'd her track 
To bring us news, and she never came back. 
Ah, 'tis twenty long years and more 
Since that old ship went out of the ba}~ 

With my great-hearted brother on her deck : 

I watch'd him till he shrank to a speck, 
And his face was toward me all the way. 
Bright his hair was, a golden brown, 

The time we stood at our mother's knee : 
That beauteous head, if it did go down, 

Carried sunshine into the sea ! 

Out in the fields one summer night 
We were together, half afraid 
Of the corn-leaves' rustling, and of the shade 
Of the high hills, stretching so still and far, — 



60 CHOICE READINGS. 

Loitering till after the low little light 

Of the candle shone through the open door ; 
And over the haystack's pointed top, 
All of a tremble, and read}' to drop, 

The first half-hour, the great yellow star, 

That we, with staring, ignorant eyes, 
Had often and often watch'd to see, 

Propp'd and held in its place in the skies 
By the fork of a tall red mulberry tree, 

Which close in the edge of our flax-field grew, — 
Dead at the top, — just one branch full 
Of leaves, notch' d round, and lined with wool, 

From which it tenderly shook the dew 
Over our heads, when we came to play 
In its handbreadth of shadow, day after day. 

Afraid to go home, sir ; for one of us bore 
A nest full of speckled and thin-shell'd eggs ; 
The other, a bird, held fast by the legs, 
Not so big as a straw of wheat : 
The berries we gave her she wouldn't eat, 
But cried and cried, till we held her bill, 
So slim and shining, to keep her still. 

At last we stood at our mother's knee. 

Do you think, sir, if you try, 

You can paint the look of a lie ? 

If you can, pray have the grace 

To put it solely in the face 
Of the urchin that is likest me : 

I think 'twas solelv mine, indeed : 

But that's no matter, — paint it so ; 

The eyes of our mother, (take good heed,) 
Looking not on the nestful of eoo-s, 
Nor the fluttering bird, held so fast by the legs, 
But straight through our faces down to our lies, 
And, O, with such injured, reproachful surprise ! 

I felt my heart bleed where that glance went, as though 

A sharp blade struck through it. 



THE PAINTER OF SEVILLE. 61 

You, sir, know 
That you on the canvas are to repeat 
Things that are fairest, things most sweet, — 
Woods and cornfields and mulberry tree, — 
The mother, — the lads, with their bird, at her knee : 

But, O, that look of reproachful woe ! 
High as the heavens your name I'll shout, 
If you paint me the picture, and leave that out. 

THE PAINTER OP SEVILLE. 

Susan Wilson. 

Sebastian Gomez, better known by tbe name of the Mulatto of Murillo, 
was one of the most celebrated painters of Spain. There may yet be seen 
in the churches of Seville the celebrated picture which he was found paint- 
ing, by his master, a St. Anne, and a holy Joseph, which are extremely 
beautiful, and others of the highest merit. The incident related occurred 
about the year 1030. 

'Twas morning in Seville ; and brightly beam'cl 
The earlj- sunlight in one chamber there ; 

Showing where'er its glowing radiance gleam'd, 
Rich, varied beauty. 'Twas the study where 

Murillo, the famed painter, came to share 
With young aspirants his long-cherish'd art, 

To prove how vain must be the teacher's care, 
Who strives his unbought knowledge to impart, 
The language of the soul, the feeling of the heart. 

The pupils came ; and, glancing round, 
Mendez upon his canvas found, 
Not his own work of 3-esterday, 
But, glowing in the morning ray, 
A sketch so rich, so pure, so bright, 

It almost seem'd that there were given, 
To glow before his dazzled sight, 

Tints and expression warm from Heaven. 



62 CHOICE READINGS. 

'Twas midnight in Seville; and faintly shone, 

From one small lamp, a dim uncertain ray 
Within Murillo's study ; all were gone 

Who there, in pleasant tasks or converse gay, 
Pass'd cheerfully the morning hours away. 

'Twas shadowy gloom, and breathless silence, save 
That, to sad thoughts and torturing fear a pre}^ 

One bright-eyed boy was there, — Murillo's little slave. 

Almost a child, that bo} T had seen 

Not thrice five Summers yet, 
m But genius mark'd the lofty brow, 

O'er which his locks of jet 
Profusely curl'd ; his cheek's dark hue 
Proclaim'd the warm blood flowing through 
Each throbbing vein, a mingled tide, 
To Africa and Spain allied. 

" Alas ! what fate is mine ! " he said. 

" The lash, if I refuse to tell 
Who sketch' d those figures ; if I do, 

Perhaps e'en more, — the dungeon-cell ! " 
He breathed a prayer to Heaven for aid ; 
It came, — for, soon in slumber laid, 
He slept, until the dawning day 
Shed on his humble couch its ray. 

" I'll sleep no more ! " he cried ; " and now 
Three hours of freedom I may gain, 

Before my master comes ; for then 
I shall be but a slave again. 

Three blessed hours of freedom ! how 

Shall I employ them ? — ah ! e'en now 

The figure on that canvas traced 

Must be — yes, it must be effaced." 

He seized a brush ; the morning light 

Gave to the head a soften'd glow : 
Gazing enraptured on the sight, 



THE PAINTER OF SEVILLE. 63 

He cried, " Shall I efface it? — No ! 
That breathing lip ! that beaming e}'e ! 
Efface them? — I would rather die ! " 

The terror of the humble slave 

Gave place to the o'erpowering flow 
Of the high feelings Nature gave, — 

Which only gifted spirits know. 
'Twas but a sketch, — the Virgin's head ; 
Yet was unearthly beauty shed 
Upon the mildly beaming face : 
The lip, the eye, the flowing hair, 
Had separate, yet blended grace, — 

A poet's brightest dream was there ! 

Mnrillo enter'd, and, amazed, 

On the nvysterious painting gazed : 

" AVhose work is this? — speak, tell me ! — he 

Who to his aid such power can call," 
Exclaim' d the teacher eagerly, 

' t Will yet be master of us all : 
Would I had clone it ! — Ferdinand ! 
Isturitz ! Mendez ! — say, whose hand 
Among ye all ? " — With half -breached sigh, 
Each pupil answer'd, " 'Twas not I ! " 

" How came it, then? " impatiently 
Murillo cried: " but we shall see, 
Ere long, into this mystery. — 
Sebastian ! " 

At the summons came 

A bright-e} T ed slave, 
Who trembled at the stern rebuke 

His master gave. 
For, order d in that room to sleep. 
And faithful guard o'er all to keep, 
Murillo bade him now declare 
What rash intruder had been tliero ; 



G4 CHOICE READINGS. 

And threaten'd — if he did not tell 
The truth at once — the dungeon-cell. 

" Thou auswer'st not," Murillo said ; 
(The boy had stood in speechless fear.) 

" Speak on ! " — At last he raised his head 
And murmur'd, " No one has been here." 
t; Tis false ! " Sebastian bent his knee, 

And clasp'd his hands imploringly, 
And said, " I swear it, none but me ! " 

u List ! " said his master : "I would know 
Who enters here ; there have been found, 
Before, rough sketches strewn around, 

B}' whose bold hand, 'tis } T ours to show : 
See that to-night strict watch you keep, 
Nor dare to close } r our eyes in sleep. 

If on to-morrow morn 3-011 fail 
To answer what I ask, 

The lash shall force you ; do you hear ? 
Hence ! to } T our daily task." 

He touch'd the brow — the lip ; it seem'd 

His pencil had some magic power : 
The eye with deeper feeling beam'd ; 

Sebastian then forgot the hour ! 
Forgot his master, and the threat 

Of punishment still hanging o'er him ; 
For, with each touch, new beauties met 

And mingled in the face before him. 

At length 'twas finish'd : rapturously 
He gazed, — could aught more beauteous be? 
Awhile absorb'd, entranced he stood, 
Then started ; horror chill' d his blood ! 
His master and the pupils all 

Were there e'en at his side ! 
The terror-stricken slave was mute, — 

Mercv would be deniedr-^ 



THE PAINTER OF SEVILLE. 65 

E'en could he ask it ; so he deera'd, 
And the poor hoy half lifeless seem'd. 

Speechless, bewilder'd, for a space 
They gazed upon that perfect face, 

Each with an artist's joy ; 
At length Murillo silence broke, 
And with affected sternness spoke, — 

" Who is your master, boy? " 
"You, Senior," said the trembling slave. 
"Nay, who, I mean, instruction gave, 
Before that Virgin's head you drew ? " 
Again he answer'd, " Only you." 
" I gave 3'ou none," Murillo cried ! 
" But I have heard," the boy replied, 

" What you to others said." 
" And more than heard," (in kinder tone, 
The painter said ;) " 'tis plainly shown 

That you have profited." 

" What " (to his pupils) " is his meed? 

Reward or punishment?" 
" Reward, reward ! " they warmly cried. 

(Sebastian's ear was bent 
To catch the sounds he scarce believed, 
But with imploring look received.) 
" What shall it be? " They spoke of gold 

And of a splendid dress ; 
But still unmoved Sebastian stood, 

Silent and motionless. 

" Speak ! " said Murillo, kindly ; " choose 

Your own reward : what shall it be? 
Name what you wish, I'll not refuse ; 

Then speak at once and fearlessly." 
" O, if I dared ! " — Sebastian knelt, 

And feelings he could not control, 
(But fear'd to utter even then,) 

With strong emotion shook his soul. 



QQ CHOICE READINGS. 

" Courage ! " his master said, and each 
Essay'd, in kind, half-whisper'd speech, 
To soothe his overpowering dread. 
He scarcely heard, till some one said, 

" Sebastian, — ask, — you have your choice, 
Ask for your freedom ! " — At the word, 

The suppliant strove to raise his voice : 
At first but stilled sobs were heard, 
And then his prayer, breathed fervently, 

" O master, make my father free ! " 
" Him and thyself, my noble boy ! " 

Warmly the painter cried : 
Raising Sebastian from his feet, 

He press'd him to his side. 
" Thy talents rare, and filial love, 

E'en more have fairly won ; 
Still be thou mine by other bonds, — 

My pupil and my son." 

Murillo knew, e'en when the words 

Of generous feeling pass'cl his lips, 
Sebastian's talents soon must lead 

To fame, that would his own eclipse ; 
And, constant to his purpose still, 

He joy'cl to see his pupil gain, 
Beneath his care, such matchless skill 

As made his name the pride of Spain. 



>XKc 



POTENCY OF ENGLISH WOEDS. 

John S. McIntosh. 

Seek out "acceptable words"; and as ye seek them 
turn to our English stores. Seeking to be rich in 
speech, you will find that in the broad ocean of our 
English literature there are pearls of great price, our 



POTENCY OF ENGLISH WORDS. 67 

potent English words; words that are wizards more 
mighty than the old Scotch magician ; words that are 
pictures bright and moving with all the colouring and 
circumstances of life ; words that go down the century 
like battle cries ; words that sob like litanies, sing like 
larks, sigh like zephyrs, shout like seas. Seek amid our 
exhaustless stores and you will find words that flash 
like the stars of the frosty sky, or are melting and ten- 
der like Love's tear-filled eyes; words that are fresh 
and crisp like the mountain breeze in Autumn, or are 
mellow and rich as an old painting ; words that are 
sharp, unbending, and precise like Alpine needle-points, 
or are heavy and rugged like great nuggets of gold ; 
words that are glittering and gay like imperial gems, or 
are chaste and refined like the face of a Muse. Search 
and ye shall find words that crush like the battle-axe of 
Richard, or cut like the scimetar of Saladin ; words that 
sting like a serpent's fangs, or soothe like a mother's 
kiss ; words that can unveil the nether depths of Hell, 
or paint out the heavenly heights of purity and peace ; 
words that can recall a Judas; words that reveal the 
Christ. 

Here, then, you have to stir, enrich, control, and culti- 
vate your plastic minds, a literature that embodies, in 
the most perfect forms of Elizabethan words, the peer- 
less gentleness of a Sidney, the unquailing bravery of 
a Glanville, the quiet majesty of a Cecil, the dashing 
hardihood of a Raleigh, and the sublime dignity of a 
Howard. What a rich field of supply is here ! Here is 
a literature that is marked by terseness and clearness, 
by soberness and majesty, by sweetness and fullness of 
expression never surpassed, rarely equalled. Here you 
have for your guidance and enrichment as speakers a 
field of literature marked in one department by the 



68 CHOICE READINGS. 

pureness, thoroughness, and calmness of the sage who 
loves rich, deep, but strongly ruled speech, and shuns 
with holy scorn all strain after the startling or striking; 
a literature marked in another department by the white 
glow of fiery zeal, the rapid rush of the dauntless will, 
and by the passionate, piercing cry of the deeply stirred 
but despairing seer ; a literature marked in another de- 
partment by short, sharp sentences, by pointed anti- 
theses, striking outbursts, flashing images. This is the 
literature that presents to you the gathered wealth of 
the English tongue ; and yet this vast and noble library 
into which I would introduce you, far from exhausting, 
only half reveals the marvellous riches of that language 
whose inexhaustible stores and manifold resources 
scarcely one amid a thousand speakers ever more than 
touches. Before us stands a grand instrument of count- 
less strings, of myriad notes and keys, and we are con- 
tent with some few hundreds, and these not the purest, 
richest, deepest, sweetest. If you would be strong of 
speech, master more of these notes ; let your vocabulary 
be rich, varied, pure, and proportionate will be your 
power and attractiveness as speakers. I would have 
you deeply impressed by the force, fullness, and flexi- 
bility of our noble tongue, where, if anywhere, the 
gigantic strength of thought and truth is wedded to the 
seraphic beauty of perfect utterance. I would have you 
fling yourselves unhesitatingly out into this great fresh 
sea, like bold swimmers into the rolling waves of ocean. 
It will make you healthy, vigorous, supple, and equal to 
a hundred calls of duty. I would have you cherish 
sacredly this goodly heritage, won by centuries of Eng- 
lish thought and countless lives of English toil. I 
would have you jealous, like the apostle over the 
Church, over these pure wells of English uncle filed : de- 



THE BLIND HIGHLAND BOY. 69 

grade not our sacred tongue by slang ; defile not its 
crystal streams with the foul waters of careless speech ; 
honour its stern old parentage, obey its simple yet se- 
vere grammar, watch its perfect rhythm, and never mix 
its blue blood, the gift of noblest sires, with the base 
puddle of any mongrel race ; never speak half the lan- 
guage of Ashdod and half of Canaan, but be ye of a 
pure English lip. 

THE BLIND HIGHLAND BOY. 

William Wordsworth. 
PART I. 

A highland boy ! — why call him so ? 
Because, my children, ye must know 
That, under hills which rise like towers, 
Far higher than these hills of ours, 
He from his birth had lived. 

He ne'er had seen one earthly sight, — 
The Slid, the day, the stars, the night; 
Or tree, or butterfly, or flower, 
Or fish in stream, or bird in bower, 
Or woman, man, or child. 

And yet he neither droop* d nor pined, 
Nor had a melancholy mind ; 
For God took pity on the bo}*, 
And was his friend, and gave him joy 
Of which we nothing know. 

His mother, too, no doubt, above 
Her other children him did love : 
For, was she here, or was she there, 
She thought of him with constant care, 
And more than mother's love. 



70 CHOICE READINGS. 

And proud she was of heart, when, clad 
In crimson stockings, tartan plaid, 
And bonnet with a feather ga} T , 
To kirk he on the Sabbath day 
Went hand in hand with her. 

A dog, too, had he ; not for need, 
But one to play with and to feed ; 
Which would have led him, if bereft 
Of compan}' or friends, and left 
Without a better guide. 

And then the bagpipes he could blow, 
And thus from house to house would go ; 
And all were pleased to hear and see, 
For none made sweeter melody 
Than did the poor blind boy. 

Yet he had many a restless dream ; 
Both when he heard the eagles scream, 
And when he heard the torrents roar, 
Aud heard the water beat the shore 
Near which their cottage stood. 

Beside a lake this cottage stood, 
Not small like ours, a peaceful flood ; 
But one of mighty size, and strange ; 
That, rough or smooth, is full of change, 
And stirring in its bed. 

For to this lake, by night and day, 
The great sea-water finds its way 
Through long, long windings of the hills, 
And drinks up all the pretty rills, 
And rivers large and strong : 

Then hurries back the way it came, — • 
Returns, on errand still the same : 
This did it when the Earth was new ; 
And this for evermore will do 
As long as Earth shall hist. 



THE BLIND HIGHLAND BOY. 

And, with the coming of the tide. 
Come boats and ships that safely ride 
Between the woods and lofty rocks ; 
And to the shepherds with their flocks 
Bring tales of other lands. 

And of those tales, whate'er they were, 
The blind boy always had his share ; 
Whether of mighty towers, or vales 
With warmer suns and softer gales, 
Or wonders of the Deep. 

Yet more it pleased him, more it stirr'd, 
When from the water-side he heard 
The shouting, and the jolly cheers ; 
The bustle of the mariners 
In stillness or in storm. 

But what do his desires avail? 
For lie must never handle sail ; 
Nor mount the mast, nor row, nor float 
In sailor's ship, or fisher's boat, 
Upon the rocking waves. 

Thus lived he by Lock-Leven's side 
Still sounding with the sounding tide, 
And heard the billows leap and dance. 
Without a shadow of mischance, 
Till he was ten years old. 

PART II. THE BLIND BOY'S SAIL ON THE LAKE. 

And then, one day, (now mark me well, 
Ye soon shall know how this befell,) 
He, in a vessel of his own, 
On the swift flood is hurrying down, 
Down to the mighty Sea. 



72 CHOICE READINGS. 

But, say, what bears him? — Ye have seen 
The Indian's bow, his arrows keen, 
Rare beasts, and birds with plumage bright ; 
Gifts which, for wonder or delight, 
Are brought in ships from far. 

Such gifts had those seafaring men 
Spread round that haven in the glen ; 
Each hut, perchance, might have its own ; 
And to the boy the} 7 all were known, — 
He knew and prized them all. 

The rarest was a turtle-shell 
Which he, poor child, had studied well. 
He'd heard how, in a shell like this, 
An English boy, O thought of bliss ! 
Had stoutly launch'd from shore. 

Our Highland boy oft visited 
The house that held this prize ; and, led 
By choice or chance, did thither come 
One day when no one was at home, 
And found the door unbarr'd. 

While there he sate, alone and blind, 
That story flash'cl upon his mind : 
A bold thought roused him ; and he took 
The shell from out its secret nook, 
And bore it on his head. 

He launch'd his vessel ; and in pride 
Of spirit, from Lock-Leven's side, 
Stepp'd into it ; his thoughts all free 
As the light breezes that with glee 
Sang through th' adventurer's hair. 

Awhile he stood upon his feet ; 

He felt the motion, — took his seat ; 



THE BLIND HIGHLAND BOY. 78 

Still better pleased, as more and more 
The tide retreated from the shore, 
And suck'd, and suck'cl him in. 

And there he is in face of Heaven. 
How rapidly the child is driven ! 
The fourth part of a mile, I ween, 
He thus had gone, ere he was seen 
By airy human eye. 

But, when he first was seen, O me, 
What shrieking and what misery ! 
For man}' saw : among the rest 
His mother, she who loved him best, 
She saw her poor blind boy. 

But, for the child, the sightless boy, 
It is the triumph of his J03- ! 
The bravest traveller in balloon, 
Mounting as if to reach the Moon, 
Was never half so blest. 

And let him, let him go his way, 
Alone, and innocent and gay ! 
For, if good Angels love to wait 
On the forlorn unfortunate, 
This child will take no harm. 

But quickly with a silent crew 
A boat is ready to pursue ; 
And from the shore their course they take, 
And swiftly down the running lake 
They follow the blind boy. 

With sound, the least that can be made, 
They follow, more and more afraid, 
More cautious as they draw more near ; 
But in his darkness he can hear, 
And guesses their intent. 



74 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Lei-gha, lei-gha!" he then cried out, 
" Lei-gha, lei-gha!" with eager shout : 
Thus did he cry, and thus did pray, 
And what he meant was, " Keep away, 
And leave me to myself ! " 

Alas ! and when he felt their hands, — 
You've often heard of magic wands, 
That with a motion overthrow 
A palace of the proudest show, 
Or melt it into air : 

So all his dreams, — that inward light 
With which his soul had shone so bright, 
All vanish'd : 'twas a heartfelt cross 
To him, a heavy, bitter loss, 
As ever he had known. 

But, hark ! a gratulating voice, 
With which the very hills rejoice : 
'Tis from the crowd, who tremblingly 
Have watch'cl th' event, and now can see 
That he is safe at last. 

And in the general joy of heart 
The blind boy's little dog took part : 
He leapt about, and oft did kiss 
His master's hands in sign of bliss, 
With sound like lamentation. 

But, most of all, his mother dear, 
She who had fainted with her fear, 
Rejoiced when, waking, she espies 
The child ; when she can trust her eyes, 
And touches the blind boy, 

She led him home, and wept amain 
When he was in the house again : 
Tears flow'd in torrents from her eyes ; 
She kiss'd him, — how could she chastise ? 
She was too happy far. 



SIR WALTER SCOTT AND HIS DOGS. 75 

SIE WALTER SOOTT AND HIS DOGS. 

Washington Irving. 

As we sallied forth, every dog in the establishment 
turned out to attend us. There was the old staghound, 
Maida, a noble animal ; and Hamlet, the black grey- 
hound, a wild, thoughtless youngster, not yet arrived 
at the years of discretion ; and Finette, a beautiful 
setter, with soft, silken hair, long pendent ears, and 
a mild eye, the parlour favourite. When in front of 
the house, we were joined by a superannuated grey- 
hound, who came from the kitchen wagging his tail, and 
was cheered by Scott as an old friend and comrade. 
In our walks, he would frequently pause in conversa- 
tion, to notice his dogs, and speak to them as if rational 
companions: and, indeed, there appears to be a vast 
deal of rationality in these faithful attendants on man, 
derived from their close intimacy with him. 

Maida deported himself with a gravity becoming his 
age and size, and seemed to consider himself called 
upon to preserve a great degree of dignity and decorum 
in our societv. As he jogged along a little distance 
ahead of us, the young dogs would gambol about him, 
leap on his neck, worry at his ears, and endeavour to 
tease him into a gambol. The old dog would keep 
on for a long time with imperturbable solemnity, now 
and then seeming to rebuke the wantonness of his 
young companions. At length he would make a sud- 
den turn, seize one of them, and tumble him in the 
dust; then, giving a glance at us, as much as to say, 
" You see, gentlemen, I can't help giving way to this 
nonsense," he would resume his gravity, and jog on as 
before. 



76 CHOICE READINGS. 

Scott amused himself with these peculiarities. " I 
make no doubt," said he, " when Maida is alone with 
these young dogs he throws gravity aside, and plays the 
boj' as much as any of them ; but he is ashamed to do 
so in our company, and seems to say, ' Have done with 
your nonsense, youngsters : what will the laird and that 
other gentleman think of me if I give way to such 
foolery?'" 

Scott amused himself with the peculiarities of another 
of his dogs, a little shamefaced terrier, with large glassy 
eyes, one of the most sensitive little bodies to insult and 
indignity in the world. If ever he whipt him, he said, 
the little fellow would sneak off and hide himself from 
the light of day in a lumber-garret, from whence there 
was no drawing him forth but by the sound of the 
chopping-knife, as if chopping up his victuals, when he 
would steal forth Avith humiliated and downcast look, 
but would skulk away again if any one regarded him. 

While we were discussing the humours and pecu- 
liarities of our canine companions, some object provoked 
their spleen, and produced a sharp and petulant barking 
from the smaller fry ; but it was some time before 
Maida Avas sufficiently roused to ramp forward two or 
three bounds, and join the chorus with a deep-mouthed 
bow wmv. It was but a transient outbreak, and he re- 
turned instantly, wagging his tail, and looking up 
dubiously in his master's face, uncertain whether he 
would receive censure or applause. " Ay, ay, old boy ! " 
cried Scott, " you have done wonders ; you have shaken 
Eildon hills with your roaring: }^ou may now lay by 
your artillery for the rest of the day." — " Maida," con- 
tinued he, " is like the great gun at Constantinople : it 
takes so long* to get it ready, that the smaller guns can 
fire off a dozen times first ; but when it does go off it 
plays the very devil." 



MORNING. / / 



These simple anecdotes may serve to show the de- 
lightful play of Scott's humours and feelings in private 
life. His domestic animals were his friends. Every- 
thing about him seemed to rejoice in the light of his 



countenance. 



MOBKIffG. 

Daxiel Webster. 

Richmond, April 29, 5 a.m., 1847. 

\Vhether it he a favour or an annoyance, you owe 
this letter to my habit of early rising. From the hour 
marked at the top of the page, you will naturally con- 
clude that ni} k companions are not now engaging my 
attention, as we have not calculated on being early 
travellers to-day. 

This city has " a pleasant seat." It is high ; the 
James river runs below it : and when I went out an 
hour ago nothing was heard but the roar of the falls. 
The air is tranquil, and its temperature mild. 

It is morning : and a morning sweet and fresh and 

O - o 

delightful. Everybody knows the morning in its meta- 
phorical sense, applied to so many objects, and on so 
man}' occasions. The health, strength, and beauty of 
early years lead us to call that period ;; the morning of 
life.'' Of a lovelv young woman we say, she is "bright 
as the morning " : and no one doubts why Lucifer is 
called '-son of the morning." 

But the morning itself, few people, inhabitants of 
cities, know anything about. Among all our good peo- 
ple of Boston, not one in a thousand sees the Sun rise 
once a-year. They know nothing of the morning. 
Their idea of it is, that it is that part of the day which 
comes along after a cnp of coffee and a beefsteak, or a 



CHOICE READINGS. 



piece of toast. With them, morning is not a new issuing 
of light; a new bur sting-forth of the Sun; a new 
waking-up of all that has life, from a sort of temporary 
death, to behold again the works of God, the heavens 
and the earth : it is only a part of the domestic day, be- 
longing to breakfast, to reading the newspapers, answer- 
ing notes, sending the children to school, and giving 
orders for dinner. The first faint streaks of light pur- 
pling the East, which the lark springs up to greet, and 
the deeper and deeper colouring into orange and red, 
till at length "the glorious Sun is seen, regent of the 
day," — this they never enjoy, for this they never see. 

Beautiful descriptions of the morning abound in all 
languages ; but they are the strongest perhaps in those 
of the East, where the Sun is so often an object of wor- 
ship. King David speaks of taking to himself "the 
Avings of the morning." This is highly poetical and 
beautiful. The "wings of the morning" are the beams 
of the rising Sun. Rays of light are wings. It is thus 
said that the Sun of Righteousness shall arise "with heal- 
ing in his wings"; — a rising Sun, which shall scatter 
light and health and joy throughout the Universe. 
Milton has fine descriptions of morning, but not so 
many as Shakespeare, from whose writings pages of the 
most beautiful images, all founded on the glory of the 
morning, might be gathered. 

I never thought that Adam had much advantage of 
us, from having seen the world while it was new. The 
manifestations of the power of God, like His mercies, are 
"new every morning," and "fresh every evening." We 
see as fine risings of the Sun as ever Adam saw ; and its 
risings are as much a miracle now as they were in his 
day, and, I think; a good deal more, because it is now a 
part of the miracle that for thousands and thousands of 



FRIDAY S FROLIC WITH A BEAR. 79 

years he lias come at his appointed time, without the 
variation of a millionth part of a second. Adam could 
not tell how this might be ! 

I know the morning ; I am acquainted with it, and I 
love it, fresh and sweet as it is, a daily new creation, 
breaking forth, and calling all that have life and breath 
and being to new adoration, new enjoyments, and new 
gratitude. 

OO^OO — 

FRIDAY'S PEOLIO WITH A BEAK. 

Daniel Defoe. 

As the bear is a heavy, clumsy creature, and does not 
gallop as the wolf does, who is swift and light, so he has 
two particular qualities, which generally are the rule of 
his actions : first, as to men, who are not his proper 
prey, if you do not meddle with him, he will not meddle 
with you : but then you must take care to be very civil 
to him and give him the road, for he is a very nice gen- 
tleman; he will not go a step out of his way for a 
prince : nay, if you are really afraid, your best way is to 
look another way, and keep going on ; for sometimes, if 
you stop and stand still, and look steadfastly at him, he 
takes it for an affront ; but, if you throw or toss anv- 
thing at him, and it hits him, though it were but a bit of 
stick as big as your ringer, he thinks himself abused, 
and sets all other business aside to pursue his revenge, 
and will have satisfaction in point of honour. This is 
his first quality : the next is, if he be once affronted, he 
will never leave you night nor day, till he has his re- 
venge, bnt follows, at a good round rate, till he over- 
takes you. 

My man Friday had delivered our guide, and, when 



SO CHOICE READINGS. 

we came up to him, on a sudden, we espied the bear 
come out of the wood, and a vast, monstrous one it was, 
the biggest by far that ever I saw. We were all a little 
surprised when we saw him ; but, when Friday saw him, 
it was eas}^ to see joy and courage in the fellow's coun- 
tenance : 0,0,0 ! says Friday, three times, pointing to 
him ; O master ! you give me te leave, me shakee te 
hand with him ; me makee you good laugh. 

I was surprised to see the fellow so well pleased: 
You fool, says I, he will eat you up. — Eatee me up ! 
eatee me up ! says Friday, twice over again ; me eatee 
him up ; me makee you good laugh : you all stay here, 
me show you good laugh. So down he sits, and gets off 
his boots in a moment, and puts on a pair of pumps, 
gives my other servant his horse, and with his gun away 
he flew, swift like the wind. 

The bear was walking slowly on, and offered to med- 
dle with nobody, till Friday coming pretty near, calls to 
him, as if the bear could understand him, Hark ye, hark 
ye, says Friday, me speakee with you. We followed at 
a distance ; for now Ave were entered a great forest, 
where the country was plain and pretty open, though it 
had many trees in it scattered here and there. Friday, 
who had, as we say, the heels of the bear, came up with 
him quickly, and takes up a great stone and throws it 
at him, and hit him just on the head, but did him no 
more harm than if he had thrown it against a wall ; but 
it ansAvered Friday's end, for the rogue Avas so void of 
fear that he did it purely to make the bear folloAV him, 
and show us some laugh as he called it. 

As soon as the bear felt the bloAv, and saAV him, he 
turns about, and conies after him, taking long strides, 
and shuffling on at a strange rate, such as would have 
put a horse to a middling gallop; away runs Friday, 



Friday's frolic with a bear. . 81 

and takes his course as if he run towards us for help ; so 
we all resolved to fire at once upon the bear, and de- 
liver my man ; though I was angry at him heartily for 
bringing the bear back upon us, when he was going 
about his own business another way ; and especially I 
was angry that he had turned the bear upon us, and 
then run away ; and I called out, You dog, is this your 
making us laugh? Come away, and take your horse, 
that we may shoot the creature. 

He heard me, and cried out, No shoot, no shoot ; 
stand still, and you get much laugh ; and as the nimble 
creature ran two feet for the bear's one, he turned on a 
sudden, on one side of us, and, seeing a great oak tree 
fit for his purpose, he beckoned to us to follow ; and 
doubling his pace, he gets nimbly up the tree, laying his 
gun down upon the ground, at about five or six yards 
from the bottom of the tree. The bear soon came to 
the tree, and we followed at a distance : the first thing- 
he did, he stopped at the gun, smelt to it, but let it lie, 
and up he scrambles into the tree, climbing like a cat, 
though so monstrous heavy. I was amazed at the folly, 
as I thought it, of my man, and could not for my life 
see any thing to laugh at yet, till, seeing the bear get up 
the tree, we all rode near to him. 

When we came to the tree, there was Friday got out 
to the small end of a large branch, and the bear got 
about half way to him. As soon as the bear got out to 
that part where the limb of the tree was weaker, — Ha ! 
says he to us, now you see me teachee the bear dance : 
so he falls a-jumping and shaking the bough, at which 
the bear began to totter, but stood still, and began 
to look behind him, to see how he should get back; 
then, indeed, we did laugh heartily. But Friday had 
not done with him by a great deal ; when, seeing him 



82 . CHOICE READINGS. 

stand still, lie calls out to him again, as if he had sup- 
posed the bear could speak English, What, you come no 
further ? pray you come further : so he left jumping and 
shaking the tree ; and the bear, just as if he understood 
what he said, did come a little further ; then he fell a- 
jumping again, and the bear stopped again. 

We thought now was a good time to knock him on 
the head, and called to Friday to stand still, and we 
would shoot the bear : but he cried out earnestly, O 
pray ! O pray ! no shoot, me shoot by-and-then ; he 
would have said by-and-by. However, Friday danced 
so much, and the bear stood so ticklish, that we had 
laughing enough, but still could not imagine what the 
fellow would do : for first we thought he depended 
upon shaking the bear off; and we found the bear was 
too cunning for that too ; for he would not go out far 
enough to be thrown down, but clings fast with his 
great broad claws and feet, so that we could not im- 
agine what would be the end of it, and what the jest 
would be at last. 

But Friday puts us out of doubt quickly : for, seeing 
the bear cling fast to the bough, and that he would not 
come any further, Well, well, says Friday, you no come 
further, me go ; you no come to me, me come to you : 
and, upon this, he goes out to the smaller end of the 
bough, where it would bend with his weight, and gently 
lets himself down by it, till he came near enough to 
jump down on his feet, and away he runs to his gun, 
takes it up, and stands still. Well, said I to him, Fri- 
day, what will you do now ? Why don't you shoot him ? 
— No shoot, says Friday, no yet ; me no shoot now, me 
no kill ; me stay, give you one more laugh ; and, indeed, 
so he did: for when the bear saw his enemy gone, he 
comes back from the bough where he stood, but did it 



Crusoe's fight with wolves. 83 

mighty cautiously, looking behind him every step, and 
coming backward till he got into the body of the tree ; 
then, with the same hinder-end foremost, he came down 
the tree, grasping it with his claws, and moving one foot 
at a time, very leisurely. At this juncture, and just be- 
fore he could set his hind-foot on the ground, Friday 
stepped up close to him, clapped the muzzle of his piece, 
into his ear, and shot him dead. Then the rogue turned 
about, to see if we did not laugh ; and when he saw we 
were pleased, by our looks, he falls a laughing himself 
very loud. So we kill bear in my countiy, says Friday. 
So you kill them ? says I : why, you have no guns. — 
No, says he, no gun, but shoot great much long arrow. 

CEUSOE'S HQHT WITH WOLVES. 

Daniel Defoe. 

The ground was still covered with snow, though not 
so deep and dangerous as on the mountains ; and the 
ravenous creatures were come down into the forest and 
plain countr} r to seek for food, and had done a great 
deal of mischief in the villages, where they killed a 
great many sheep and horses, and some people too. 
We had one dangerous place to pass, of which our guide 
told us, if there were more wolves in the country we 
should find them there ; and this was a small plain, sur- 
rounded with woods on every side, and a long narrow 
defile, or lane, which we were to pass to get through the 
wood, and then we should come to the village where we 
were to lodge. It was within half an hour of sunset 
when we entered the first wood, and a little after sunset 
when we came into the plain. 

We met with nothing in the first wood, except that, 



84 CHOICE READINGS. 

in a little plain within the wood, which was not above 
two furlongs over, we saw five great wolves cross the 
road, full speed one after another, as if they had been 
in chase of some prey, and had it in view ; they took no 
notice of us, and were gone out of sight in a few mo- 
ments. Upon this our guide, who, by the way, was but 
a faint-hearted fellow, bid us keep in a ready posture, 
for he believed there were more wolves a-coming. We 
kept our arms ready, and our eyes about us ; but we 
saw no more wolves till we came through that wood, 
which was near half a league, and entered the plain. 

As soon as we came into the plain, we had occasion 
enough to look about us : the first object we met with 
was a dead horse, that is to say, a poor horse which the 
wolves had killed, and at least a dozen of them at work, 
we could not say eating of him, but picking of his bones 
rather; for they had eaten up all the flesh before. We 
did not think fit to disturb them at their feast ; neither 
did they take much notice of us. Friday would have 
let fly at them, but I would not suffer him by any 
means ; for I found we were like to have more business 
upon our hands than we were aware of. 

We were not gone half over the plain, when we be- 
gan to hear the wolves howl in the wood on our left in 
a frightful manner, and presently after we saw about a 
hundred coming on directly towards us, all in a body, 
and most of them in a line, as regularly as an army 
drawn up by an experienced officer. I scarce knew in 
what manner to receive them, but found to draw our- 
selves in a close line was the only way : so we formed 
in a moment : but, that we might not have too much 
interval, I ordered that only every other man should 
fire, and that the others who had not fired should stand 
ready to give them a second volley immediately, if they 



ckusoe's fight with wolves. 85 

continued to advance upon us ; and then that those 
who had fired at first should not pretend to load their 
fusees again, but stand ready every one with a pistol, for 
we were all armed with a fusee and a pair of pistols 
each man : so we were, by this method, able to fire six 
volleys, half of us at a time. 

However, at present we had no necessity : for, upon 
the first volley, the enemy made a full stop, being terri- 
fied as well with the noise as with the fire ; four of 
them, being shot in the head, dropped ; several others 
were wounded, and went bleeding off, as we could see 
by the snow. I found they stopped, but did not im- 
mediately retreat ; whereupon, remembering that the 
fiercest creatures were terrified at the voice of a man, I 
caused all the company to halloo as loud as we could; 
and, upon our shout, they began to retire, and turn 
about. I then ordered a second volley to be fired in 
their rear, which put them to the gallop, and away they 
went to the woods. This gave us leisure to charge our 
pieces again; and we had but little more than loaded 
our fusees, and put ourselves in readiness, when we 
heard a terrible noise in the same wood, on our left, 
only that it was further onward, the same way we were 
to go. 

The night was coming on, and the light began to be 
dusky, which made it worse on our side ; but, the noise 
increasing, we could easily perceive that it was the 
howling and yelling of those hellish creatures ; and on 
a sudden we perceived two or three troops of wolves, 
one on our left, one behind us, and one in our front, so 
that we seemed to be surrounded with them : however, 
as they did not fall upon us, we kept our way forward, 
as fast as we could make our horses go, which, the way 
being very rough, was only a good hard trot. In this 



86 CHOICE READINGS. 

manner we came in view of the entrance of the wood, 
through which we were to pass, at the further side of 
the plain ; but we were greatly surprised, when, coming 
nearer the lane or pass, we saw a confused number of 
wolves standing just at the entrance. 

This filled us with horror, and we knew not what 
course to take ; but the creatures resolved us soon, for 
they gathered about us presently, in hopes of prey ; and 
I verily believe there were three hundred of them. It 
happened very much to our advantage, that at the en- 
trance into the wood, there lay some large timber trees, 
which had been cut down the Slimmer before, and I sup- 
pose lay there for carriage. I drew my little troop in 
among those trees, and, placing ourselves in a line be- 
hind one long tree, I advised them all to alight, and, 
keeping that tree before us for a breastwork, to stand 
in a triangle or three fronts enclosing our horses in the 
centre. We did so, and it was well we did ; for never 
was a more furious charge than the creatures made 
upon us in this place. They came on with a growling 
kind of noise, and mounted the piece of timber, which 
was our breastwork, as if they were only rushing upon 
their prey ; and this fury of theirs, it seems, was princi- 
pally occasioned by their seeing our horses behind us. 
I ordered our men to fire as before, every other man ; 
and they took their aim so sure, that they killed several 
of the wolves at the first volley ; but there was a neces- 
sity to keep a continual firing, for they came on like 
devils, those behind pushing on those before. 

When we had fired a second volley of our fusees, we 
thought they stopped a little, and I hoped they would 
go off; but it was but a moment, for others came for- 
ward again: so we fired two volleys of our pistols ; and 
I believe in these four firings we killed seventeen or 



Crusoe's fight with wolves. 87 

eighteen of them, and lamed twice as many, yet they 
came on again. I was loth to spend our shot too 
hastily ; so I called my servant, and, giving him a horn 
of powder, I bade him lay a train all along the piece of 
timber, and let it be a large train. 

He did so ; and had but just time to get away, when 
the wolves came up to it, and some got upon it, when 
I, snapping an uncharged pistol close to the powder, set 
it on fire : those that were upon the timber were scorched 
with it; and six or seven of them fell or rather jumped 
in among us, with the force and fright of the fire : we 
dispatched these in an instant, and the rest were so 
frightened with the light, which the night, for it was 
now very near dark, made more terrible, that they drew 
back a little ; upon which I ordered our last pistols to 
be fired off in one volley, and after that we gave a 
shout: upon this the wolves turned tail, and we sallied 
immediately upon near twenty lame ones, that we found 
struggling on the ground, and fell a cutting them with 
our swords, which answered our expectation ; for the 
crying and howling they made was better understood 
by their fellows ; so that they all fled and left us. 

We had, first and last, killed about threescore of 
them ; and, had it been daylight, we had killed many 
more. The field of battle being thus cleared, we made 
forward again, for we had still near a league to go. We 
heard the ravenous creatures howl and yell in the 
woods as we went, seA^eral times, and sometimes we 
fancied we saw some of them, but, the snow dazzling 
our eyes, we were not certain: in about an hour more 
we came to the town where we were to lodge, which Ave 
found in a terrible fright, and all in arms ; for, the night 
before, the wolves and some bears had broke into the 
village, and put them in such terror, that they were 



88 CHOICE READINGS. 

obliged to keep guard night and day, but especially in 
the night, to preserve their cattle, and, indeed, their 
people. 

LADY CLAEA YEEE DE VEEE. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, 
Of me you shall not win renown : 
You thought to break a country heart 
For pastime, ere you went to town., 
At me you smiled, but unbeguilecl 
I saw the snare, and I retired : 
The daughter of a hundred Earls, 
Y r ou are not one to be desired. 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, 
I know you proud to bear your name ; 
Your pride is yet no mate for mine, 
Too proud to care from whence I came : 
Nor would I break for your sweet sake 
A heart that dotes on truer charms. 
A simple maiden in her flower 
Is worth a hundred coats-of-arms. 

Lad} 7 Clara Vere de Vere, 
Some meeker pupil you must find ; 
For, were you queen of all that is, 
I could not stoop to such a mind. 
You sought to prove how I could love, 
And my disdain is mv reply : 
The lion on your old stone gates 
Is not more cold to you than I. 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, 
You put strange memories in my head : 
Not thrice your branching limes have blown 
Since I beheld young Laurence dead. 



LADY CLARA VERE DE VERE. 81) 

O, your sweet eyes, your low replies ! 
A great enchantress you may be ; 
But there was that across his throat 
Which you had hardly cared to see. 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, 
When thus he met his mother's view, 
She had the passions of her kind, 
She spake some certain truths of you : 
Indeed I heard one bitter word 
That scarce is fit for you to hear ; 
Her manners had not that repose 
Which stamps the cast of Vere de Vere. 

Lady Clara Vere de Vere, 
There stands a spectre in your hall : 
The guilt of blood is at your door ; 
You changed a wholesome heart to gall. 
You held your course without remorse, 
To make him trust his modest worth ; 
And, last, you fix'd a vacant stare, 
And slew him with your noble birth. 

Trust me, Clara Vere de Vere, 

From yon blue heavens above us bent 

The grand old gardener and his wife 

Smile at the claims of long descent. 

Howe'er it be, it seems to me 

'Tis only noble to be good : 

Kind hearts are more than coronets, 

And simple faith than Norman blood. 

I know you, Clara Vere de Vere : 

You pine among your halls and towers ; 

The languid light of your proud eyes 

Is wearied of the rolling hours. 

In glowing health, with boundless wealth, 

But sickening of a vague disease, 



90 CHOICE READINGS. 

You know so ill to deal with time. 

You needs must play such pranks as these. 

Clara, Clara Vere de Vere, 
If Time be heavy on your hands, 
Are there no beggars at your gate, 
Nor an}' poor about your lands ? 
O ! teach the orphan-boy to read, 
Or teach the orphan-girl to sew ; 
Pray Heaven for a human heart, 
And let the foolish yeoman go. 

OTJK TEA YELLED PAKSOtf. 

Will Carleton. 

For twenty years and over our good parson had been toiling 

To chip the bad meat from our hearts, and keep the good from 

spoiling ; 
But finally he wilted down, and went to looking sickly, 
And the doctor said that something must be put up for him quickly. 

So we kind of clubb'd together, each according to his notion, 
And bought a circular ticket in the lands across the ocean ; 
Wrapp'd some pocket money in it, — what we thought would easy 

do him, — 
And appointed me committee-man to go and take it to him. 

I found him in his study, looking rather worse than ever, 
And told him 'twas decided that his flock and he should sever: 
Then his eyes grew wide with wonder, and it seem'd almost to 

blind 'em ; 
And some tears look'd out o' window, with some others close 

behind 'em. 

Then I handed him the ticket, with a little bow of deference ; 
And he studied quite a little ere he got his proper reference ; 
And then the tears that waited, great unmanageable creatures, 
Let themselves quite out o' window, and came trickling down his 
• features. 

I wish you could ha' seen him, coming back all fresh and glowing, 
His clothes so worn and seed}^, and his face so fat and knowing ; 
I wish you could have heard him when he pray'd for us who sent him, 
And paid us back twice over all the money we had lent him. 



oub travell::;) pakson. 91 

Twas a feast to all believers, 'twas a blight on contradiction. 
To hear one just from Calvary talk about the crucifixion ; 

'Twas a damper on those fellows who pretended they could 

doubt it. 
To have a man. who'd been there, stand and tell them all about it. 

Paul, maybe, beat our pastor in the Bible knots unravelling, 
And establishing new churches : but he couldn't touch him trav- 
elling : 
Xor in his journeys pick up half the general information : 
But then he hadn't the railroads and the steamboat navigation. 

And every foot of Scripture whose location used to stump us 
Was now regularly laid out. with the different points of compass. 
When he undertook a picture, he quite natural would draw it : 
He would paint it out so honest that it seem'd as if you saw it. 

An' the way he chisell'd Europe, — - O, the way he scamper'd 

through it ! 
Xot a mountain dodged his climbing, not a city but he knew it : 
There wasn't any subject to explain in all creation. 
But he could go to Europe and bring back an illustration. 

So we crowded out to hear him. much instructed and delighted : 

'Twas a picture-show, a lecture, and a sermon, all united : 

And my wife would wipe her glasses, and serenely pet her Test'- 

ment. 
And whisper. " That ere ticket was a very good investment." 

Now, after six months' travel we were most of us all ready 
To settle down a little, so's to live more staid and steady ; 
To develop home resources, with no foreign cares to fret us, 
Using home-made faith more frequent : but the parson wouldn't 
let us. 

To view the self-same scenery time and time again he'd call us : 
Over rivers, plains, and mountains he would any minute haul us : 
He slighted our home sorrows, and our spirits' aches and ailings, 

To get the cargoes ready for Ms reg'lar Sunday sailings. 

He would take us off a-touring in all spiritual weather. 

Till Ave at last got homesick-like, and seasick altogether : 

And -I wish to all that's peaceful," said one free-expression 'd 

brother. 
• ; That the Lord had made one cont'nent, and then never made 

another ! " 

Sometimes, indeed, he'd take us into sweet, familiar places, 
And pull along quite steady in the good old gospel traces : 
But soon my wife wotdd shudder, just as if a chill had got her. 
Whispering, " 0. my goodness gracious ! he's a-takin' to the 
v:at ;■ i 



92 CHOICE READINGS. 

And it wasn't the same old comfort when he calPd around to 

see us ; 
On a branch of foreign travel he was sure at last to tree us : 
All unconscious of his error, he would sweetly patronize us, 
And with oft-repeated stories still endeavour to surprise us. 

And the sinners got to laughing ; and that fm'lly gall'd and 

stung us 
To ask him, " Would he kindly once more settle down among us ? 
Didn't he think that more home-produce would improve our souls' 

digestions? " 
They appointed me committee-man to go and ask the questions. 

I found him in his garden, trim an' buoyant as a feather ; 

He press'd my hand, exclaiming, "This is quite Italian weather; 

How it 'minds me of the evenings when, your distant hearts 

caressing, 
Upon my benefactors I invoked the heaven ly blessing ! " 

I went and told the brothers, " No, I cannot bear to grieve him ; 
He's so happy in his exile, it's the proper place to leave him. 
I took that journey to him, and right bitterly I rue it ; 
But I cannot take it from him : if you want to, go and do it." 

Now a new restraint entirely seem'd next Sunday to infold him, 
And he look'd so hurt and humbled that I knew some one had told 

him. 
Subdued-like was his manner, and some tones were hardly vocal ; 
But every word he utter'd was pre-eminently local. 

The sermon sounded awkward, and we awkward felt who heard it : 
'Twas a grief to see him hedge it, 'twas a pain to hear him word it : 
" When I was in — " was, maybe, half a dozen times repeated, 
But that sentence seem'd to scare him, and was always uncom- 
pleted. 

As weeks went on, his old smile would occasionally brighten, 
But the voice was growing feeble, and the face began to whiten : 
He would look off to the eastward with a listful, weary sighing ; 
And 'twas whisper'd that our pastor in a foreign land was dying. 

The coffin lay 'mid garlands smiling sad as if they knew us ; 
The patient face within it preach'd a final sermon to us : 
Our parson had gone touring on a trip he'd long been earning, 
In that wonder-land whence tickets are not issued for returning. 

O tender, good-soul'cl shepherd! your sweet smiling lips, half- 
parted, 

Told of scenery that burst on you just the minute that you started ! 

Could you preach once more among us, you might wander without 
fearing ; 

You could give us tales of glory we would never tire of hearing. 



HAPPINESS OF ANIMALS. 93 

HAPPINESS OF ANIMALS. 

William Cowper. 

Here unmolested, through whatever sign 

The Sun proceeds, I wander; neither mist, 

Nor freezing sky nor sultry, checking me, 

Nor stranger intermeddling with my 303*. 

Even in the Spring and playtime of the year, 

That calls th' unwonted villager abroad 

With all her little ones, a sportive train, 

To gather kingcups in the yellow mead, 

These shades are all my own. The timorous hare, 

Grown so familiar with her frequent guest, 

Scarce shuns me ; and the stockdove unalarm'd 

Sits cooing in the pine-tree, nor suspends 

His long love-ditty for my near approach. 

Drawn from his refuge in some lonely elm 

That age or injury has hollo w'd deep. 

Where on his bed of wool and matted leaves 

He has outslept the Winter, ventures forth, 

To frisk awhile, and bask in the warm sun, 

The squirrel, flippant, pert, and full of play. 

He sees me, and at once, swift as a bird, 

Ascends the neighbouring beech ; there whisks his brush, 

And perks his ears, and stamps and scolds aloud, 

With all the prettiuess of feign'd alarm, 

And anger insignificantly fierce. 

The heart is hard in nature, and unfit 
For human fellowship, as being void 
Of sympathy, and therefore dead alike 
To love and friendship both, that is not pleased 
With sight of animals enjoying life. 
Xor feels their happiness augment his own. 
The bounding fawn that darts across the glade 
When none pursues, through mere delight of heart 



94 CHOICE READINGS. 

And spirits buoyant with excess of glee ; 

The horse, as wanton and almost as fleet, 

That skims the spacious meadow at full speed, 

Then stops and snorts, and, throwing high his heel 

Starts to the voluntary race again ; 

The very kine that gambol at high noon, 

The total herd receiving first, from one 

That leads the dance, a summons to be gay. 

Though wild their strange vagaries, and uncouth 

Their efforts, yet resolved with one consent 

To give such act and utterance as they may 

To ecstas\' too big to be suppress'd ; — 

These, and a thousand images of bliss, 

With which kind Nature graces every scene 

Where cruel man defeats not her design, 

Impart to the benevolent, who wish 

All that are capable of pleasure pleased, 

A far superior happiness to theirs, — 

The comfort of a reasonable joy. 



GENEVIEVE. 95 



II. 

LOVE, BEAUTY, TRANQUILLITY. 



GENEVIEVE. 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Maid of 1113^ Love, sweet Genevieve ! 

In Beauty's light yon glide along ; 

Your eye is like the star of eve, 

And sweet your Voice as Seraph's song. 

Yet not 3'our heavenly Beaut} T gives 

This heart with passion soft to glow : 

Within your soul a Voice there lives ! 

It bids you hear the tale of Woe. 

When sinking low the Sufferer wan 

Beholds no hand outstretch'd to save, 

Fair, as the bosom of the Swan 

That rises graceful o'er the wave, 

I've seen your breast with pity heave, 

And therefore love I 3-ou, sweet Genevieve ! 



All flioughts, all passions, all delights, 
Whatever stirs this mortal frame, 
All are but ministers of Love, 
And feed his sacred flame. 

Oft in my waking dreams do I 
Live o'er again that happy hour, 
When midway on the mount I lay, 
Beside the ruin'd tower. 



96 CHOICE READINGS. 

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene, 
Had blended with the lights of eve ; 
And she was there, my hope, my joy, 
My own dear Genevieve ! 

She lean'd against the armed man, 
The statue of the armed knight ; 
She stood and listen'd to my la}', 
Amid the lingering light. 

Few sorrows hath she of her own, 
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve ! 
She loves me best, whene'er I sing 
The songs that make her grieve. 

I play'd a soft and doleful air, 
I sang an old and moving story, — 
An old rude song, that suited well 
That ruin wild arid hoary. 

She listen'd with a flitting blush, 
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; 
For well she knew I could not choose 
But gaze upon her face. 

I told her of the Knight that wore 
Upon his shield a burning brand ; 
And that for ten long years he woo'd 
The Lady of the Land. 

I told her how he pined ; and, ah ! 
The deep, the low, the pleading tone 
With which I sang another's love 
Interpreted my own. 

She listen'd with a flitting blush, 
With downcast eyes and modest grace ; 
And she forgave me, that I gazed 
Too fondly on her face ! 



GENEVIEVE. 97 

But when I told the cruel scorn 
That crazed that bold and lovely Knight, 
And that he cross' d the mountain-woods, 
Nor rested day nor night ; 

That sometimes from the savage den, 
And sometimes from the darksome shade, 
And sometimes starting up at once 
In green and sunny glade, — 

There came and look'd him in the face 
An angel beautiful and bright ; 
And that he knew it was a Fiend, 
This miserable Knight ; 

And that, unknowing what he did, 
He leap'd amid a murderous band, 
And saved from outrage worse than death 
The Lady of the Land ; — 

And how she wept, and clasp'd his knees ; 
And how she tended hira in vain, — 
And ever strove to expiate 

That scorn that crazed his brain ; — 

And that she nursed him in a cave ; 
And how his madness went away, 
When on the 3-ellow forest-leaves 
A dying man he lay ; — 

His dying words, — but when I reach'd 
That tenderest strain of all the ditty, 
My faltering voice and pausing harp 
Disturb' d her soul with pit} T ! 

All impulses of soul and sense 
Had thrill'd my guileless Genevieve; 
The music and the doleful tale, 
The rich and balmy eve ; 



98 CHOICE READINGS. 

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope, 
And undistinguishable throng, 
And gentle wishes long subdued, 
Subdued and cherish'd long ! 

She wept with pit}' and delight, 
She blush'd with love and virgin-shame ; 
And, like the murmur of a dream, 
I heard her breathe my name. 

Her bosom heaved, — she stepp'd aside, 
As conscious of my look she stepp'd, — - 
Then suddenly, with timorous eye, 
She (led to me and wept. 

She half enclosed me with her arms, 
She press'd me with a meek embrace ; 
And, bending back her head, look'd up, 
And gazed upon my face. 

'Twas partly love, and partly fear, 
And partly 'twas a bashful art, 
That I might rather feel than see 
The swelling of her heart. 

I calm'd her fears, and she was calm, 
And told her love with virgin-pride ; 
And so I won my Genevieve, 
My bright and beauteous Bride. 



>>®4 c 



SEEN, LOVED, WEDDED. 

William Wordsworth. 

She was a Phantom of delight 
When first she gleam'd upon my sight ; 
A lovely Apparition, sent 
To be a moment's ornament : 



MR. GRAHAM AND LADY CLEMENTINA. 99 

Her eyes as stars of twilight fair ; 
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair ; 
But all things else about her drawn 
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn ; 
A dancing Shape, an Image gay, 
To haunt, to startle, and wa}~lay. 

I saw her upon nearer view, 

A Spirit, yet a Woman too ! 

Her household motions light and free, 

And steps of virgin liberty ; 

A countenance in which did meet 

Sweet records, promises as sweet ; 

A creature not too bright or good 

For human nature's daily food ; 

For transient sorrows, simple wiles, 

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. 

And now I see with eye serene 
The very pulse of the machine ; 
A Being breathing thoughtful breath, 
A Traveller between life and death ; 
The reason firm, the temperate will, 
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; 
A perfect Woman, nobly plann'cl 
To warn, to comfort, and command ; 
And yet a Spirit still, and bright 
With something of an angel light. 

ME. GEAHAM AND LADY CLEMENTINA. 

George MacDonald. 

Him only in all London must she see to bid good-bye. 
As usual now, she was shown into his room, — his only 
one. As usual also, she found him poring over his 
Greek Testament. The gracious, graceful woman 



100 CHOICE READINGS. 

looked lovelily strange in that mean chamber, like an 
opal in a brass ring. There was no such contrast be- 
tween the room and its occupant. His bodily presence 
was too weak to "stick fiery off" from its surround- 
ings ; and, to the eye that saw through the bodily pres- 
ence to the inherent grandeur, that grandeur suggested 
no discrepancy, being of the kind that lifts everything 
to its own level, casts the mantle of its own radiance 
over its surroundings. Still, to the eye of love and rev- 
erence, it was not pleasant to see him in such entourage, 
and, now that Clementina was going to leave him, the 
ministering spirit that dwelt in the woman was troubled. 

"Ah ! " he said, and rose as she entered, " this is then 
the angel of my deliverance ! " But with such a smile 
he did not look as if he had much to be delivered from. 
" You see," he went on, " old man as I am, and peace- 
ful, the Summer will lay hold upon me. She stretches 
out a long arm into this desert of houses and stones, 
and sets me longing after the green fields and the living 
air — it seems dead here — and the face of God, as much 
as one may behold of the Infinite through the revealing 
veil of earth and sky and sea. I was even getting a 
little tired of that glorious God-and-man lover, Saul of 
Tarsus : no, not of him, never of him, only of his shadow 
in his words. Yet perhaps — yes, I think so — it is God 
alone of whom a man can never get tired. Well, no 
matter : tired I Avas, when, lo ! here comes my pupil, 
with more of God in her face than all the worlds and 
their skies He ever made." 

"I would my heart were as full of Him too, then, 
sir," answered Clementina. " But, if I am anything of 
a comfort to you, I am more than glad ; therefore the 
more sorry to tell you that I am going to leave you, 
though for a little while only, I trust." 



MR. GRAHAM AND LADY CLEMENTINA. 101 

" You do not take rue by surprise, my lady. I have 
of course been looking forward for some time to my loss 
and your gain. The world is full of little deaths, — 
deaths of all sorts and sizes, rather let me say. For 
this one I was prepared. The good summer-land calls 
you to its bosom, and you must go." 

" Come with me," cried Clementina, her eyes eager 
with the light of a sudden thought, while her heart re- 
proached her grievously that only now first had it come 
to her. 

" A man must not leave the most irksome work for 
the most peaceful pleasure," answered the schoolmaster. 
" I am able to live — yes, and do my work — without 
you, my lady," he added with a smile, " though I shall 
miss you sorely." 

" But you do not know where I want you to come," 
she said. 

" What difference can that make, my lady, except in- 
deed in the amount of pleasure to be refused, seeing 
this is not a matter of choice ? I must be with the chil- 
dren whom I have engaged to teach, and whose parents 
pay me for my labour ; not with those who, besides, can 
do well without me." 

" I cannot, sir, — not for long at least." 

" What ! not with Malcolm to supply my place ? " 

Clementina blushed, but only like a white rose. She 
did not turn her head aside : she did not lower their 
lids to veil the light she felt mount into her eyes : she 
looked him gently in the face as before, and her aspect 
of entreaty did not change. "Ah! do not be unkind, 
master," she said. 

" Unkind ! " he repeated. " You know I am not. I 
have more kindness in my heart than my lips can tell. 
You do not know, you could not yet imagine, the half 
of what I hope of and for and from you." 



102 CHOICE READINGS. 

" I am going to see Malcolm," she said with a little 
sigh. "That is, I am going to visit Lady Lossie at her 
place in Scotland, — your own old home, where so many 
must love you. Cant you come ? I shall be travelling 
alone, quite alone, except my servants." 

A shadow came over the schoolmaster's face : " You 
do not think, my lady, or you would not press me. It 
pains me that you do not see at once it would be dis- 
honest to go without timely notice to my pupils, and to 
the public too. But, beyond that, I go not where I 
wish, but where I seem to be called or sent. I never 
even wish much, except when I pray to Him in whom 
are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 
After what He wants to give me I am wishing all day 
long. I used to build many castles, not without a 
beauty of their own, — that was when I had less under- 
standing, — now I leave them to God to build for me : 
He does it better, and the}^ last longer. See now, this 
very hour, when I needed help, could I have contrived 
a more lovely annihilation of the monotony that threat- 
ened to invade my weary spirit than this inroad of light 
in the person of my Lady Clementina? Nor will He 
allow me to get overwearied with vain efforts. I do 
not think He will keep me here long, for I cannot do 
much for these children. They are but some of His 
many pagans, — not yet quite ready to receive Chris- 
tianity, I think, — not like children with some of the old 
seeds of the truth buried in them, that want to be 
turned up nearer to the light. True, I might be hap- 
pier where I could hear the larks; but I do not know 
that anywhere I have been more peaceful than in this 
little room, in which I see you so often cast round your 
eyes curiously, perhaps pitifully, my lady." 

" It is not at all a fit place for you" said Clementina, 
with a touch of indignation. 



MR. GRAHAM AND LADY CLEMENTINA. 103 

" Softly, my lady, lest, without knowing it, your love 
should make you sin. Who set thee, I pray, for a 
guardian angel over my welfare ? I could scarce have a 
lovlier, true ; but where is thy brevet ? No, my lady : 
it is a greater than thou that sets me the bounds of my 
habitation. Perhaps He may give me a palace one day. 
If I might choose, it would be things that belong to a 
cottage, — the whiteness and the greenness and the sweet 
odours of cleanliness. But the Father has decreed for 
His children that they shall know the thing that is 
neither their ideal nor His. But perhaps, my lady, you 
would not pity my present condition so much, if you 
had seen the cottage in which I was born, and where 
my father and mother loved each other, and died hap- 
pier than on their wedding-day. When do you go?" 

"To-morrow morning, as I purpose." 

" Then God be with thee ! He is with thee, only my 
prayer is that thou mayst know it." 

" Tell me one thing before I go," said Clementina : 
" are we not commanded to bear each other's burdens, 
and so fulfil the law of Christ ? I read it to-day." 

" Then why ask me ? " 

" For another question : does not that involve the 
command to those who have burdens, that they should 
allow others to bear them?" 

" Surely, my lady. But I have no burden to let you 
bear." 

"Why should I have everything and you nothing? 
Answer me that." 

" My lady, I have millions more than }^ou, for I have 
been gathering the crumbs under my Master's table for 
thirty years." 

" You are a king," answered Clementina. "But a 
king needs a handmaiden somewhere in his house : that 



104 CHOICE READINGS. 

let me be in yours. No, I will be proud, and assert my 
rights : I am your daughter. If not, why am I here ? 
You cannot cast me off if you would. Why should you 
be poor when I am rich? You are poor; you cannot 
deny it," she concluded with a serious playfulness. 

"I will not deny my privileges," said the school- 
master, with a smile such as might have acknowledged 
the possession of some exquisite and envied rarity. 

" I believe," insisted Clementina, " you are just as 
poor as the apostle Paul when he sat down to make a 
tent, or as our Lord himself after He gave up carpen- 
tering." 

" You are wrong there, my lady. I am not so poor 
as they must often have been." 

" But I don't know how long I may be away, and 
you may fall ill, or — or — see some — some book you 
want very much, or — " 

" I never do," said the schoolmaster. 

" What ! never see a book you want to have ? " 

"No, not now. I have my Greek Testament, my 
Plato, and my Shakespeare, and one or two little books 
besides whose wisdom I have not yet quite exhausted." 

" I can't bear it ! " cried Clementina, almost on the 
point of weeping. " Let me be your servant." As she 
spoke she rose, and, walking softly to him where he sat, 
kneeled at his knees and held out suppliantly a little 
bag of white silk tied with crimson. " Take it, — 
father," she said, hesitating; "take your daughter's 
offering, — a poor thing to show her love, but some- 
thing to ease her heart." 

He took it, and weighed it up and down in his hand 
with an amused smile, bent his eyes full on her tears. 
It was heavy. He emptied it on the seat of a chair. 
" 1 never saw so much gold in my life, if it were all taken 



MR. GRAHAM AND LADY CLEMENTINA. 105 

together," lie said. " But I don't want it, my dear. It 
would trouble me." As he spoke he began to put it in 
the bag again. " You will want it for your journey," 
he said. 

"I have plenty in my reticule," she answered. " That 
is a mere nothing to what I could have for writing a 
cheque. Tell me true : how much money have you? " 
She said this with such an earnest look of simple love, 
that the schoolmaster made haste to rise, that he might 
conceal his growing emotion. 

"Rise, my dear lady," he said as he rose himself, 
" and I will show you." He gave her his hand, and she 
obeyed, but troubled and disappointed, and so stood 
looking after him while he went to a drawer. Thence, 
searching in a corner of it, he brought a half-sovereign, 
a few shillings, and some coppers, and held them out to 
her on his hand with the smile of one wdio has proved 
his point. " There ! " he said, " do you think Saint Paul 
would have stopped preaching to make a tent so long 
as he had as much as that in his pocket ? " 

Clementina had been struggling with herself : now 
she burst into tears. 

" Why, what a misspending of precious sorrow ! " ex- 
claimed the schoolmaster. "Do you think because a 
man has not a gold-mine he must die of hunger?" As 
he spoke he took her handkerchief from her hand, and 
dried her tears with it. But he had enough to do to 
keep back his own. " Because I won't take a bag full 
of gold from you when I don't want it," he went on, 
" do you think I should let myself starve without com- 
ing to you? I promise you I will let you know — -come 
to you if I can — the moment I get too hungry to do 
my work well, and have no money left. Should I think 
it a disgrace to take money from you ? That would 



106 CHOICE READINGS. 

show a poverty of spirit such as I hope never to fall 
into. My sole reason for refusing now is that I do not 
need it." 

But for all his loving words and assurances Clemen- 
tina could not stay her tears. 

" See, then, for your tears are hard to bear, my daugh- 
ter," he said, " I will take one of these golden ministers ; 
and, if it has flown from me ere you come, I will ask 
you for another. It may be God's will that you should 
feed me for a time." 

A moment of silence followed, broken only by Clem- 
entina's failures in quieting herself. 

"To me," he resumed, "the sweetest fountain of 
money is the hand of love, but a man has no right to 
take it from that fountain except he is in want of it. I 
am not." 

He opened again the bag, and slowly, reverentially 
indeed, drew from it one of the new sovereigns, put it 
in his pocket, and laid the bag on the table. 

" But your clothes are shabby, sir," said Clementina, 
looking at him with a sad little shake of the head. 

" Are they ? " he returned, and looked down at his 
lower garments, reddening and anxious. "If you tell 
me, my lady, if you honestly tell me, that my garments " 
— and he looked at the sleeve of his coat — "are un- 
sightly, I will take of your money to buy me a new 
suit." Over his coat-sleeve he regarded her, ques- 
tioning. 

" Everything about you is beautiful," she burst out. 
" You want nothing but a body that lets the light 
through." She took the hand still raised in his survey 
of his sleeve, pressed it to her lips, and walked slowly 
from the room. 

He took the bag of gold from the table, and followed 



THE BRIDGE. 107 

her down the stair. Her chariot was waiting for her at 
the door. He handed her in, and laid the bag on the 
little seat in front. 

THE BEIDGE. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

I stood on the bridge at midnight, 
As the clocks were striking the hour, 

And the Moon rose o'er the city, 
Behind the dark church- tower. 

I saw her bright reflection 

In the waters under rne, 
Like a golden goblet falling 

And sinking into the sea. 

And, far in the hazy distance 

Of that lovely night in June, 
The blaze of the flaming furnace 

G-leam'd redder than the Moon. 

Among the long, black rafters 

The wavering shadows lay, 
And the current that came from the ocean 

Seem'd to lift and bear them awa}- ; 

As, sweeping and eddying through them, 

Eose the belated tide, 
And, streaming into the moonlight, 

The sea- weed floated wide. 

And, like those waters rushing 

Among the wooden piers, 
A flood of thoughts came o'er me 

That fill'd my eyes with tears. 



108 CHOICE READINGS. 

How often, O, how often, 

In the days that had gone b^y, 

I had stood on that bridge at midnight, 
And gazed on that wave and sky r ! 

How often, O, how often, 

I had wish'd that the ebbing tide 

Would bear me away on its bosom 
O'er the ocean wild and wide ! 

For nry heart was hot and restless, 
And my life was full of care, 

And the burden laid upon me 

Seem'd greater than I could bear. 

But now it has fallen from me, 

It is buried in the sea ; 
And only the sorrow of others 

Throws its shadow over me. 

Yet, whenever I cross the river 
On its bridge with wooden piers, 

Like the odour of brine from the ocean 
Comes the thought of other years. 

And I think how many thousands 
Of care-encumber'd men, 

Each bearing his burden of sorrow, 
Have cross'd the bridge since then. 

I see the long procession 

Still passing to and fro, 
The young heart hot and restless, 

And the old subdued and slow ! 

And forever and forever, 
As long as the river flows, 

As long as the heart has passions, 
As long as life has woes : 



THE CHILDREN. 109 

The Moon and its broken reflection 

And its shadows shall appear. 
As the symbol of love in Heaven, 

And its wavering image here. 

THE CHILDKEN. 

Charles Dickens. 

"When the lessons and tasks are all ended, 

And the school for the day is dismissal. 
And the little ones gather around me, 

To bid me ki good night " and be kiss'd ; 
0. the little white arms that encircle 

My neck in a tender embrace ; 
O. the smiles that are halos of Heaven, 

Shedding sunshine of love on my face. 

And when they are gone I sit dreaming 

Of m}- childhood too lovely to last ; 
Of love that my heart will remember, 

While it wakes to the pulse of the past, — 
Ere the world and its wickedness made me 

A partner of sorrow and sin ; 
When the glory of God was about me, 

And the glory of gladness within. 

O. my heart grows as weak as a woman's, 

And the fountains of feeling will flow, 
When I think of the paths steep and stony 

"Where the feet of the dear ones must go ; 
Of the mountains of sin hanging o'er them, 

Of the tempest of fate blowing wild : 
O, there's nothing on Earth half so holy 

As the innocent heart of a child. 

They are idols of hearts and of households ; 
They are angels of God in disguise ; 



110 CHOICE READINGS. 

His sunlight still sleeps in their tresses ; 

His glory still gleams in their eyes. 
O, those truants from home and from Heaven, 

The} 7 have made me more manly and mild, 
And I know now how Jesus could liken 

The Kingdom of God to a child. 

I ask not a life for the dear ones 

All radiant, as others have done ; 
But that life lmiy have just enough shadow 

To temper the glare of the Sun ; 
I would pra}' God to guard them from evil, 

But m}? prayer would bound back to myself ; 
O, a seraph may pray for a sinner, 

But a sinner must pray for himself. 

The twig is so easily bended, 

I have banish' d the rule and the rod ; 
I have taught them the goodness of knowledge, 

They have taught me the wisdom of God. 
My heart is a dungeon of darkness, 

Where I shut them from breaking a rule ; 
M} T frown is sufficient correction ; 

My love is the law of the school. 

I shall leave the old house in the Autumn, 

To traverse its threshold no more ; 
Ah ! how I shall sigh for the dear ones 

That muster' d each morn at the door ! 
I shall miss the " good-nights" and the kisses, 

And the gush of their innocent glee. 
The group on the green, and the flowers 

That are brought every morning to me. 

I shall miss them at morn and at eve, 
Their song in the school and the street ; 

I shall miss the low hum of their voices, 
And the tramp of their delicate feet. 



IMMORTALITY OF LOVE. Ill 

When the lessons and tasks are all ended, 
And Death says, " the school is dismiss'd ! " 

Ma}- the little ones gather around me, 
To bid me " good night " and be kiss'd. 

[It is stated that the above Poem was found in the desk 
of Charles Dickens after his death.] 



IMMOETALITY OF LOVE. 

Robert Southey. 

Three happy beings are there here, 
The Sire, the Maid, the Glendoveer : 
A fourth approaches ; — Who is this 
That enters in the Bower of Bliss? 
No form so fair might painter find 
Amono- the dauo-hters of mankind ; 
For death her beauties hath refined, 
And unto her a form hath given 
Framed of the elements of Heaven, — 
Pure dwelling-place for perfect mind. 
She stood and gazed on Sire and Child ; 
Her tongue not yet had power to speak, 
The tears were streaming down her cheek 
And when those tears her sight beguiled, 
And still her faltering accents fail'd, 
The Spirit, mute and motionless, 
Spread out her arms for the caress, 
Made still and silent with excess 
Of love and painful happiness. 

The Maid that lovely form surve3 T 'd ; 
Wistful she gazed, and knew her not, 
But Nature to her heart convey'd 
A sudden thrill, a startling thought, 
A feeling many a 3 r ear forgot. 
Now like a dream anew recurring, 



112 CHOICE READINGS. 

As if again in every vein 
Her mother's milk were stirring. 
With straining neck and earnest eye 
She stretch'd her hands imploringly, 
As if she fain would have her nigh, 
Yet fear'd to meet the wish'd embrace, 
At once with love and awe opprest. 
Not so Ladurlad : he could trace, 
Though brighten' d with angelic grace, 
His own Yedillian's earthly face : 
He ran and held her to his breast. 
O joy above all joys of Heaven, 
By death alone to others given, 
This moment hath to him restored 
The early-lost, the long-deplored ! 

They sin who tell us Love can die : 

With life all other passions fly, 

All others are but vanity : 

In Heaven Ambition cannot dwell, 

Nor Avarice in the vaults of Hell ; 

Earthly these passions of the Earth, 

They perish where they have their birth ; 

But Love is indestructible. 

Its holy flame forever burnetii, 

From Heaven it came, to Heaven returneth : 

Too oft on Earth a troubled guest, 

At times deceived, at times opprest, 

It here is tried and purified. 

Then hath in Heaven its perfect rest : 

It soweth here with toil and care, 

But th' harvest time of Love is there. 



THE ASTROLOGICAL TOWER . Ill 

THE ASTROLOGICAL IO^TEE. 

Schiller : Translated by Coleridge. 

It was a strange 

Sensation that came o'er me. when at first 

From the broad sunshine I stepp'd in : and now 

The narrowing line of daylight, that ran after 

The closing door, was gone : and all about me 

Twas pale and dusky night, with many shadows 

Fantastically cast. Here six or seven 

Colossal statues, and all kings, stood round me 

In a half-circle. Each one in his hand 

A sceptre bore, and on his head a star: 

Aud in the tower no other light was there 

But from these stars : all seem'd to come from them. 

•• These are the planets/' said that low old man : 

•• They govern worldly fates, and for that cause 

Are imaged here as king-. He farthest from you. 

Spiteful and cold, an old man melancholy. 

"With bent and yellow forehead, he is Saturn. 

He opposite, the king with the red light. 

An ann'd man for the battle, that is Mars : 

And both these bring but little luck to man." 

But at his side a lovely lady stood : 

The star upon her head was soft and bright. 

And that was Venus, the bright star of joy. 

On the left hand, lo ! Mercury, with win_- : 

in the middle glitter' d silver bright 
A cheerful man. and with a monarch's mien : 
And this was Jupiter, my father's star : 
And at his side I saw the Sun and Moon. 

O. never rudely will I blame his faith 

In the might t : stars and angel? ! "Tis not merely 

The human being's Pride that peoples space 

"With life and mystical predominance : 

Since likewise for the stricken heart of Love 



114 CHOICE READINGS. 

This visible Nature, and this common world, 

Is all too narrow ; yea^ a deeper import 

Lurks in the legend told my infant years 

Than lies upon that truth, we live to learn. 

For fable is Love's world, his home, his birth-place ; 

Delightedly dwells he 'mong fays and talismans 

And spirits ; and delightedly believes 

Divinities, being himself divine. 

Th' intelligible forms of ancient poets, 

The fair humanities of old religion, 

The Power, the Beauty, and the Majesty, 

That had their haunts in dale, or piny mountain, 

Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring, 

Or chasms and watery depths, — all these have vanish'd ; 

The}' live no longer in the faith of reason ! 

But still the heart doth need a language, still 

Doth the old instinct bring back the old names ; 

And to 3011 starry world they now are gone, 

Spirits or gods, that used to share this Earth 

With man as with their friend ; and to the lover 

Yonder they move, from yonder visible sky 

Shoot influence down : and even at this day 

'Tis Jupiter who brings whate'er is great, 

And Venus who brings everything that's fair. 

A LOST OHOED. 

Adelaide Anne Proctor. 

Seated one day at the organ, 

I was weary and ill at ease, 
And my fingers wander' d idly 

Over the noisy keys. 

I do not know what I was playing, 
Or what I was dreaming then, 

Biit I struck one chord of music, 
Like the sound of a o T eat Amen. 



MEMORY. 115 

It flooded the crimson twilight, 

Like the close of an angel's psalm, 

And it lay on m} r fever' d spirit, 
With a touch of infinite calm. 

It quieted pain and sorrow, 

Like love overcoming strife ; 
It seem'd the harmonious echo 

From our discordant life. 

It link'd all perplex'd meanings 

Into one perfect peace, 
And trembled away into silence, 

As if it were loth to cease. 

I have sought, but I seek it vainly, 

That one lost chord divine, 
That came from the soul of the organ, 

And enter'd into mine. 

It may be that Death's bright angel 

Will speak in that chord again ; 
It may be that only in Heaven 

I shall hear that grand Amen. 



*<Kc 



MEMOKY. 

James A. Garfield. 

'Tis beauteous night ; the stars look brightly down 

Upon the Earth, deck'd in her robe of snow. 

No light gleams at the windows, save my own, 

Which gives its cheer to midnight and to me. 

And now, with noiseless step, sweet memory comes 

And leads me gently through her twilight realms. 

What poet's tuneful lyre has ever sung, 

Or delicatest pencil e'er portray'd 

Th' enchanted, shadowy land where memory dwells? 



116 CHOICE READINGS. 

It has its valle3'S, cheerless, lone, and drear, 
Dark-shaded by the mournful cypress-tree ; 
And yet its sunlit mountain-tops are bathed 
In heaven's own blue. Upon its craggy cliffs, 
Robed in the dreamy light of distant years, 
Are clustered joys serene of other days. 
Upon its gently sloping hillsides bend 
The weeping willows o'er the sacred dust 
Of dear departed ones ; yet in that land, 
Where'er our footsteps fall upon the shore, 
The}' that were sleeping rise from out the dust 
Of death's long, silent years, and round us stand 
- As erst they did before the prison-tomb 
Received their clay within its voiceless halls. 
The heavens that bend above that land are hung 
With clouds of various hues. Some dark and chill, 
Surcharged with sorrow, cast their somber shade 
Upon the sunny, joyous land below. 
Others are floating through the dreamy air, 
White as the falling snow, their margins tinged 
With gold and crimson'd hues ; their shadows fall 
Upon the flowery meads and sunny slopes, 
Soft as the shadow of an angel's wing. 
When the rough battle of the day is done, 
And evening's peace falls gently on the heart, 
I bound away, across the noisy years, 
Unto the utmost verge of memory's land, 
Where earth and sky in dreamy distance meet, 
And memoiy dim with dark oblivion joins ; 
Where woke the first remember' d sounds that fell 
Upon the ear in childhood's earl}' morn ; 
And, wandering thence along the rolling years, 
I see the shadow of my former self 
Gliding from childhood tip to man's estate. 
The path of youth winds down through many a vale, 
And on the brink of many a dread abyss, 
From out whose darkness comes no ray of light, 



OVER THE RIVER. 11 

Save that a phantom dances o'er the gulf 
And beckons toward the verge. Again the path 
Leads o'er the summit where the sunbeams fall ; 
And thus in light and shade, sunshine and gloom, 
Sorrow and joy, this life-path leads along. 

»o^oc — 

TEAKS, IDLE TEAES. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean, 
Tears from the depth of some divine despair 
Rise in the heart, and gather to the e}~es, 
In looking on the happy autumn fields, 
And thinking of the days that are no more. 

Fresh as the first beam glittering on a sail. 
That brings our friends up from the under-world ; 
Sad as the last which reddens over one 
That siuks with all we love below the verge, — 
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more. 

Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns 
The earliest pipe of half-awaken'd birds 
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes 
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square ; 
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more. 

Dear as remember'd kisses after death, 
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign 'd 
On lips that are for others ; deep as love, 
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret, — 
Death in Life, the days that are no more ! 



OVEK THE KIVEE. 

Nancy A. W. Priest. 

Over the river they beckon to me, 

Loved ones who cross'd to the other side 



118 CHOICE READINGS. 

The gleam of their snowy robes I see, 

But their voices are drown'd by the rushing tide. 
There's one with ringlets of sunny gold, 

And eyes the reflection of heaven's own blue ; 
He cross'd in the twilight gray and cold, 

And the pale mist hid him from mortal view. 
We saw not the angels that met him there, — 

The gate of the city we could not see ; 
Over the river, over the river, 

My brother stands, waiting to welcome me. 

Over the river the boatman pale 

Carried another, the household pet ; 
Her brown curls waved in the gentle gale, — 

Darling Minnie ! I see her yet ! 
She closed on her bosom her dimpled hands, 

And fearlessly enter' d the phantom bark ; 
We watch'd it glide from the silver sands, 

And all our sunshine grew* strangely dark. 
We know she is safe on the further side, 

Where all the ransom 'd and angels be ; 
Over the river, the mystic river, 

My childhood's idol is waiting for me. 

For none return from those quiet shores, 

Who cross with the boatman cold and pale ; 
We hear the dip of the golden oars, 

And catch a glimpse of the snowy sail ; 
And, lo ! they have pass'd from our yearning hearts, 

They cross the stream and are gone for aye. 
We may not sunder the veil apart 

That hides from our vision the gates of day ; 
We only know that their barks no more 

Sail with us o'er life's stormy sea • 
Yet somewhere, I know, on the unseen shore, 

They watch, and beckon, and wait for me. 



PICTURES OF MEMORY. 119 

And I sit and think when the sunset's gold 

Is flashing on river, and hill, and shore, 
I shall one day stand by the waters cold 

And list to the sound of the boatman's oar. 
I shall watch for a gleam of the flapping sail ; 

I shall hear the boat as it gains the strand ; 
I shall pass from sight with the boatman pale 

To the better shore of the spirit-land. 
I shall know the loved who have gone before, 

And joyfully sweet will the meeting be, 
When over the river, the peaceful river, 

The angel of death shall carry me. 

PICTURES OP MEMOEY. 

Alice Cary. 

Among the beautiful pictures 

That hang on Memory's wall, 
Is one of a dim old forest, 

That seemeth best of all. 
Not for its gnaii'd oaks olden, 

Dark with the mistletoe ; 
Not for the violets golden 

That sprinkle the vale below ; 
Not for the milk-white lilies 

That lean from the fragrant ledge, 
Coquetting all day with the sunbeams, 

And stealing their golden edge ; 
Not for the vines on the upland 

Where the bright red berries rest, 
Nor the pinks, nor the pale, sweet cowslip, 

It seemeth to me the best. 

I once had a little brother 

With eyes that were dark and deep ; 

In the lap of that dim old forest, 
He lieth in peace asleep. 



120 CHOICE READINGS. 

Light as the down of the thistle, 

Free as the winds that blow, 
We roved there, the beautiful summers, 

The summers of long ago ; 
But his feet on the hills grew weary, 

And, one of the autumn eves, 
I made for my little brother 

A bed of the yellow leaves. 

Sweetly his pale arms folded 

My neck in a meek embrace, 
As the light of immortal beauty 

Silently cover'd his face ; 
And when the arrows of sunset 

Lodged in the tree-tops bright, 
He fell, in his saint-like beauty, 

Asleep bj' the gates of light. 

Therefore, of all the pictures 
That hang on Memory's wall, 

The one of the dim old forest 
Seemeth the best of all. 

SATOALPHOtf. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

Have } t ou read in the Talmud of old, 
In the Legends the Rabbins have told 

Of the limitless realms of the air, 
Have you read it, — the marvellous story 
Of Sandalphon, the Angel of Glory, 

Sandalphon, the Angel of Prayer? 

How, erect, at the outermost gates 
Of the City Celestial he waits, 

With his feet on the ladder of light, 
That, crowded with angels unnumber'd, 
By Jacob was seen, as he slumber'd 

Alone in the desert at night? 



SANDALPHON- 121 

The Angels of Wind and of Fire 
Chant only one hymn, and expire 

With the song's irresistible stress ; 
Expire in their rapture and wonder, 
As harp-strings are broken asunder 

B}' music they throb to express. 

But, serene in the rapturous throng, 
Unmoved by the rush of the song, 

With ej~es unimpassion'd and slow, 
Among the dead angels, the deathless 
Sandalphon stands listening, breathless, 

To sounds that ascend from below ; — ■ 

From the spirits on Earth that adore, 
From the souls that entreat and implore 

In the fervour and passion of prayer ; 
From the hearts that are broken with losses, 
And weary with dragging the crosses 

Too heavy for mortals to bear. 

And he gathers the prayers as he stands, 
And they change into flowers in his hands, 

Into garlands of purple and red ; 
And beneath the great arch of the portal, 
Through the streets of the City Immortal 

Is wafted the fragrance they shed. 

It is but a legend, I know, — 
A fable, a phantom, a show, 

Of the ancient Rabbinical lore : 
Yet the old mediaeval tradition, 
The beautiful, strange superstition, 

But haunts me and holds me the more. 

When I look from my window at night, 
And the welkin above is all white, 

All throbbing and panting with stars, 
Among them majestic is standing 
Sandalphon the angel, expanding 

His pinions in nebulous bars. 



122 CHOICK READINGS. 

And the legend, I feel, is a part 

Of the hunger and thirst of the heart, 

The frenzy and fire of the brain, 
That grasps at the fruitage forbidden, 
The golden pomegranates of Eden, 

To quiet its fever and pain. 



>XXc 



ODE TO TEANQUILLITY. 

S, T. Coleridge. 

Tranquillity ! thou better name 

Than all the family of Fame ! 

Thou ne'er wilt leave my riper age 

To low intrigue or factious rage ; 

For, O dear child of thoughtful Truth ! 

To thee I gave my early youth, 
And left the bark, and blest the steadfast shore, 
Ere yet the tempest rose and scared me with its roar. 

AVho late and lingering seeks thy shrine, 
On him but seldom, Power divine, 
Thy spirit rests ! Satiety 
And Sloth, poor counterfeits of thee, 
Mock the tired worldling. Idle hope 
And dire remembrance interlope, 
To vex the feverish slumbers of the mind : 
The bubble floats before, the spectre stalks behind. 

But me thy gentle hand will lead 
At morning through th' accustom'd mead ; 
And in the sultry Summer's heat 
Will build me up a mossy seat ; 
And, when the gusty Autumn crowds 
And breaks the busy moonlit clouds, 
Thou best the thought canst raise, the heart attune, 
Light as the busy clouds, calm as the gliding Moon. 



MEMORY. 123 

The feeling heart, the searching soul, 

To thee I dedicate the whole ! 

And, while within myself I trace 

The greatness of some future race, 

Aloof with hermit-e}-e I scan 

The present works of present man, — 
A wild and dream-like trade of blood and guile, 
Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile ! 



MEMOET. 

William Wordsworth. 

A pen — to register ; a key — 
That winds through secret wards ; 
Are well assign'd to Memory 
By allegoric Bards. 

As aptly, also, might be given 

A Pencil to her hand ; 

That, softening objects, sometimes even 

Outstrips the heart's demand ; 

That smoothes foregone distress, the lines 
Of lingering care subdues, 
Long-vanish'd happiness refines, 
And clothes in brighter hues ; 

Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works 
Those Spectres to dilate 
That startle Conscience, as she lurks 
Within her lonely seat. 

O, that our lives, which flee so fast, 
In purity were such, 
That not an image of the past 
Should fear that pencil's touch ! 



124 CHOICE READINGS. 

Retirement then might hourly look 
Upon a soothing scene, 
Age steal to his allotted nook 
Contented and serene ; 

With heart as calm as lakes that sleep, 

In frosty moonlight glistening ; 

Or mountain rivers, where they creep 

Along a channel smooth and deep, 

To their own far-off murmurs listening. 



Tranquillity ! the sovereign aim wert thou 

In heathen schools of philosophic lore ; 

Heart-stricken by stern destiny of yore 

The Tragic Muse thee served with thoughtful vow ; 

And what of hope Elysium could allow 

Was fondly seized by Sculpture, to restore 

Peace to the mourner. But, when He who wore 

The crown of thorns around His bleeding brow 

Warm'd our sad being with celestial light, 

Then Arts which still had drawn a softening grace 

From shadowy fouutains of the Infinite 

Communed with that Idea face to face ; 

And move around it now, as planets run 

Each in its orbit round the central Sun. 



THE ANGELS OF BUENA VISTA. 125 



III. 

GRAVE, SOLEMN, SERIOUS, PATHETIC. 



THE ANGELS OP BUEtfA VISTA. 

John G. Whittier. 

Speak and tell us, our Ximena, looking northward far away, 
O'er the camp of the invaders, o'er the Mexican array, 
Who is losing ? who is winning ? are they far or come they 

near ? 
Look abroad, and tell us, sister, whither rolls the storm we 

hear. 

' ' Down the hills of Angostura still the storm of battle rolls ; 
Blood is flowing, men are dying ; God have mercy on their 

souls ! " 
Who is losing? who is winning? " Over hill and over 

plain, 
I see but smoke of cannon clouding through the mountain 

rain." 

Holy Mother, keep our brothers ! Look, Ximena, look once 

more : 
" Still I see the fearful whirlwind rolling darkly as before, 
Bearing on, in strange confusion, friend and foeman, foot 

and horse, 
Like some wild and troubled torrent sweeping down its 

mountain course." 

Look forth once more. Ximena! "Ah! the smoke has 

roll'd awa} T ; 
And I see the Northern rifles gleaming down the ranks of 

gray. 



126 CHOICE READINGS. 

Hark ! that sudden blast of bugles ! there the troop of 

Minon wheels ; 
There the Northern horses thunder, with the cannon at their 

heels. 

" Jesu, pity! how it thickens! now retreat and now ad- 
vance ! 

Right against the blazing cannon shivers Puebla's charging 
lance ! 

Down they go, the brave young riders ; horse and foot 
together fall ; 

Like a ploughshare in the fallow, through them ploughs the 
Northern ball." 

Nearer came the storm, and nearer, rolling fast and fright- 
ful on. 

Speak, Ximena, speak, and tell us who has lost and who 
has won? 

" Alas ! alas ! I know not ; friend and foe together fall ; 

O'er the dying rush the living : pray, my sisters, for them 
all!" 

" Lo ! the wind the smoke is lifting : Blessed Mother, save 

my brain ! 
I can see the wounded crawling slowl}' out from heaps of 

slain ; 
Now they stagger, blind and bleeding ; now they fall, and 

strive to rise : 
Hasten, sisters, haste and save them, lest they die before 

our eyes ! 

"O my heart's love! O my dear one! lay thy poor head 

on my knee ; 
Dost thou know the lips that kiss thee? Canst thou hear 

me? canst thou see? 
O nry husband, brave and gentle ! O my Bernal, look once 

more 
On the blessed cross before thee ! Mercy ! mercy ! all is 

o'er." 



THE ANGELS OF BUENA VISTA. 127 

Dry thy tears, my poor Ximena; lay thy dear one down to 

rest ; 
Let his hands be meekly folded, la} 7 the cross upon his 

breast ; 
Let his dirge be sung hereafter, and his funeral masses said : 
To-day, thou poor bereaved one, the living ask thy aid. 

Close beside her, faintly moaning, fair and 3'oung, a soldier 

lay, 

Torn with shot and pierced with lances, bleeding slow his 

life away ; 
But, as tenderly before him the lorn Ximena knelt, 
She saw the Northern eagle shining on his pistol belt. 

With a stifled cry of horror straight she turn'd away her 

head ; 
With a sad and bitter feeling look'd she back upon her dead ; 
But she heard the youth's low moaning, and his struggling 

breath of pain, 
And she raised the cooling water to his parching lips again. 

Whisper'd low the dying soldier, press'd her hand, and 
faintly smiled : 

Was that pitying face his mother's? did she watch beside 
her child? 

All his stranger words with meaning her woman's heart sup- 
plied ; 

With her kiss upon his forehead, wt Mother ! " murmur' d he, 
and died. 

" A bitter curse upon them, poor boy, who led thee forth 
From some gentle, sad-eyed mother, weeping, lonely, in the 

North! " 
Spake the mournful Mexic woman, as she laid him with her 

dead, 
And turn'd to soothe the living still, and bind the wounds 

which bled. 



128 CHOICE READINGS. 

Look forth once more, Ximena ! " Like a cloud before the 
wind 

Rolls the battle down the mountains, leaving blood and 
death behind; 

Ah ! they plead in vain for mercy ; in the dust the wounded 
strive ; 

Hide your faces, holy angels ! 0, thou Christ of God, for- 
give ! " 

Sink, O Night, among tlry mountains ! let the cool, gray 

shadows fall ; 
Dying brothers, fighting demons, — drop thy curtain over 

all! 
Through the thickening winter twilight, wide apart the battle 

roll'd, 
In its sheath the sabre rested, and the cannon's lips grew 

cold. 

But the noble Mexic women still their holy task pursued, 

Through that long, dark night of sorrow, worn and faint 
and lacking food ; 

Over weak and suffering brothers with a tender care the}' 
hung, 

And the dying foeman bless 'd them in a strange and North- 
ern tongue. 

Not wholly lost, O Father ! is this evil world of ours ; 
Upward, through its blood and ashes, spring afresh the Eden 

flowers ; 
From its smoking hell of battle Love and Pity send their 

prayer, 
And still Thy white-wing'd angels hover dimly in our air. 



THANATOPSIS. 

W. C. Bryant. 

To him who in the love of Nature holds 
(Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 



THANATOPSIS. 129 

A various language. For his gayer hours 

She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 

And eloquence of beauty ; and she glides 

Into his darker musings, with a mild 

And gentle sympatlry, that steals away 

Their sharpness ere he is aware. When thoughts 

Of the last bitter hour come like a blight 

Over thy spirit, and sad images 

Of the stern agony, and shroud and pall, 

And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, 

Make thee to s*hudder, and grow sick at heart, 

Go forth under the open sky, and list 

To Nature's teachings, while from all around — 

Earth and her waters, and the depths of air — 

Comes a still voice, — Yet a few days, and thee 

The all-beholding Sun shall see no more 

In all his course ; nor yet in the cold ground, 

Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears, 

Nor in th' embrace of ocean, shall exist 

Thy image. Earth, that nourish'd thee, shall claim 

Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again ; 

And, lost each human trace, surrendering up 

Thine individual being, shalt thou go 

To mix for ever with the elements, 

To be a brother to th' insensible rock, 

And to the sluggish clod which the rude swain 

Turns with his share, and treads upon, The oak 

Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould. 

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place 
Shalt thou retire alone ; nor couldst thou wish 
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down 
With patriarchs of the infant world ; with kings, 
The powerful of the Earth, — the wise, the good, 
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past, — 
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills 
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the Sun ; the vales 
Stretching in pensive quietness between ; 



130 CHOICE READINGS. 

The venerable woods ; rivers that move 

In majesty, and the complaining brooks 

That make the meadows green ; and, pour'd round all, 

Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste, — 

Are but the solemn decorations all 

Of the great tomb of man. The golden Sun, 

The planets, all the infinite host of heaven, 

Are shining on the sad abodes of death, 

Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread 

The globe are but a handful to the tribes 

That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings 

Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce ; 

Or lose thyself in the continuous woods 

Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound 

Save his own dashings, — yet the dead are there ; 

And millions in those solitudes, since first 

The flight of years began, have laid them down 

In their last sleep, — the dead reign there alone. 

So shalt thou rest ; and what if thou shalt fall 

Unnoticed by the living, and no friend 

Take note of thy departure ? All that breathe 

Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh 

When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care 

Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase 

His favourite phantom ; yet all these shall leave 

Their mirth and their employments, and shall come 

And make their bed with thee. As the long train 

Of ages glide awa} T , the sons of men, 

The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes 

In the full strength of years, matron, and maid, 

The bow'd with age, the infant in the smiles 

And beauty of its innocent age cut off, 

Shall, one b}^ one, be gather'd to thy side 

By those who in their turn shall follow them. 

So live that when thy summons comes to join 
Th' innumerable caravan, that moves 
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take 



THE HERMIT. 131 

His chamber in the silent halls of death, 
Thou go not. like the quarry-slave at night 
Scourged to his dungeon ; but, sustain'd and soothed 
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, 
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch 
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams. 



;XKc 



TEE HEEMIT. 

James Beattie. 

At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still, 
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove, 
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill, 
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove ; 
'Twas thus, by the cave of the mountain afar, 
While his harp rung symphonious, a hermit began : 
No more with himself or with Nature at war. 
He thought as a sage, though he felt as a man. 

" Ah ! why, all abandon'd to darkness and woe, 
Why, lone Philomela, that languishing fall? 
For Spring shall return, and a lover bestow, 
And sorrow no longer thy bosom enthrall. 
But. if pity inspire thee, renew the sad la}', 
Mourn, sweetest complainer, man calls thee to mourn 
O, soothe him whose pleasures like thine pass away : 
Full quickly they pass, — but they never return. 

Now, gliding remote on the verge of the sky, 
The Moon, half extinguish'd, her crescent displays ; 
But lately I mark'd when majestic on high 
She shone, and the planets were lost in her blaze. 
Roll on, thou fair orb, and with gladness pursue 
The path that conducts thee to splendour again. 
But mau's faded glory what change shall renew ? 
Ah, fool ! to exult in a sjlorv so vain ! 



132 CHOICE READINGS. 

'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more ; 
I mourn, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you ; 
For morn is approaching, your charms to restore, 
Perfumed with fresh fragrance, and glittering with dew : 
Nor yet for the ravage of Winter I mourn ; 
Kind Nature the embryo blossom will save. 
But when shall Spring visit the mouldering urn? 
O, when shall it dawn on the night of the grave? 

'Twas thus, by the glare of false Science betray' d, 

That leads to bewilder, and dazzles to blind ; 

My thoughts wont to roam from shade onward to shade, 

Destruction before me, and sorrow behind. 

' O, pity, great Father of light,' then I cried, 

' TI13' creature, who fain would not wander from Thee : 

Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride : 

From doubt and from darkness Thou only canst free.' 

And darkness and doubt are now flying away; 

No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn : 

So breaks on the traveller, faint, and astray, 

The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn. 

See Truth, Love, and Merc}' in triumph descending, 

And Nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom ! 

On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending, 

And Beauty immortal awakes from the tomb." 

THE LADDEK 0E SAINT AUGUSTINE. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

Saint Augustine ! well hast thou said, 
That of our vices we can frame 
A ladder, if we will but tread 
Beneath our feet each deed of shame. 

All common things, each day's events, 
That with the hour begin and end, 
Our pleasures and our discontents, 
Are rounds by which we may ascend. 



THE LADDER OF SAINT AUGUSTINE. 133 

The low desire, the base design, 
That makes another's virtues less ; 
The revel of the ruddy wine, 
And all occasions of excess ; 

The longing for ignoble things ; 
The strife for triumph more than truth ; 
The hardening of the heart, that brings 
Irreverence for the dreams of youth ; 

All thoughts of ill ; all evil deeds, 
That have their root in thoughts of ill ; 
Whatever hinders or impedes 
The action of the nobler will ; — 

All these must first be trampled down 
Beneath our feet, if we would gain 
In the bright fields of fair renown 
The right of eminent domain. 

We have not wings, we cannot soar ; 
But we have feet to scale and climb 
By slow degrees, by more and more, 
The cloudy summits of our time. 

The mighty pyramids of stone 
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, 
When nearer seen and better known, 
Are but gigantic flights of stairs. 

The distant mountains, that uprear 
Their solid bastions to the skies, 
Are cross' d by pathways, that appear 
As we to higher levels rise. 

The heights of great men reach'd and kept 
Were not attain'd by sudden flight ; 
But the} 7 , while their companions slept, 
Were toiling upward in the night. 



134 CHOICE READINGS. 

Standing on what too long we bore 
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, 
We may discern — unseen before — 
A path to higher destinies. 

Nor deem th' irrevocable Past 
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, 
If, rising on its wrecks, at last 
To something nobler we attain. 



CHKISTMAS-DAY. 

Samuel Richards. 

Though rude winds usher thee, sweet day, 
Though clouds thy face deform, 

Though Nature's grace is swept away 
Before thy sleety storm ; 

Even in tlry sombrest wintry vest, 

Of blessed days thou art most blest. 

Nor frigid air nor gloomy morn 

Shall check our jubilee : 
Bright is the da}^ when Christ was born, 

No sun need shine but He : 
Let roughest storms their coldest blow, 
With love of Him our hearts shall glow. 

Inspired with high and holy thought, 

Fanc} T is on the wing : 
It seems as to mine ear it brought 

Those voices carolling, — 
Voices through Heaven and Earth that ran,- 
" Glory to God, good-will to man ! " 

I see the Shepherds gazing wild 

At those fair Spirits of light ; 
I see them bending o'er the Child 

With that untold delio-ht 



WINIFRED A, 135 

Which marks the face of those who view 
Things but too happy to be true. 

Oft as this joyous morn doth come 

To speak our Saviour's love, 
O, ma}' it bear our spirits home 

Where He now reigns above ! 
That da}' which brought Him from the skies 
So man restores to Paradise. 

Then let winds usher thee, sweet day, 

Let clouds thy face deform : 
Though Nature's grace is swept away 

Before thy sleety storm, 
Even in thy sombrest wintry vest, 
Of blessed days thou art most blest. 

wTNIFKEDA. 

Away ! let nought to love displeasing, 

My Winifreda, move your care ; 
Let nought delay the heavenly blessing, 

Nor squeamish pride, nor gloomy fear. 

What though no grants of royal donors 
With pompous titles grace our blood ; 

We'll shine in more substantial honours, 
And to be noble we'll be good. 

Our name, while virtue thus we tender, 
Will sweetly sound where'er 'tis spoke ; 

And all the great ones they shall wonder 
How they respect such little folk. 

What though from fortune's lavish bounty 

No might} 7 treasures we possess ; 
We'll find within our pittance plenty, 

And be content without excess. 



13G CHOICE READINGS. 

And still shall each returning season 

Sufficient for our wishes give ; 
For we will live a life of reason, 

And that's the only life to live. 

Through youth and age in love excelling, 
We'll hand in hand together tread ; 

Sweet-smiling peace shall crown our dwelling, 
And babes, sweet-smiling babes, our bed. 

How I should love the pretty creatures, 
While round my knees they fondly clung ! 

To see them look their mother's features, 
To hear them lisp their mother's tongue. 

And when with envy time transported 

Shall think to rob us of our joys, 
You'll in your girls again be courted, 

And I'll go wooing in my boys. 

THE BLACKSMITH'S STORY. 

Frank Olive. 

Well, No ! My wife ain't dead, sir, but I've lost her all the 

same ; 
She left me voluntarily, and neither was to blame. 
It's rather a queer story, and I think you will agree — 
When you hear the circumstances — 'twas rather rough on 

me. 

She was a soldier's widow. He was kill'd at Malvern Hill ; 
And when I married her she seem'd to sorrow for him still ; 
But I brought her here to Kansas, and I never want to see 
A better wife than Mary was for five bright years to me. 

The change of scene brought cheerfulness, and soon a rosy 

glow 
Qf happiness warm'd Mary's cheeks and melted all their 

snow, 



THE BLACKSMITH'S STORY. 137 

I think she loved me some, — I'm bound to think that of her, 

sir ; 
And as for me, — I can't begin to tell how I loved her ! 

Three years ago the baby came our humble home to bless ; 

And then I reckon I was nigh to perfect happiness ; 

'Twas hers, — 'twas mine ; but I've no language to explain 

to you, 
How that little girl's weak fingers our hearts together drew ! 

Once we watch'd it through a fever, and with each gasping 

breath, 
Dumb with an awful, wordless woe, we waited for its death ; 
And, though I'm not a pious man, our souls together there, 
For Heaven to spare our darling, went up in voiceless 

pra}"er. 

And, when the doctor said 'twould live, our joy what words 

could tell? 
Clasp' d in each other's arms, our grateful tears together fell. 
Sometimes, you see, the shadow fell across our little nest, 
But it only made the sunshine seem a doubly welcome guest. 

Work came to me a pleiny, and I kept the anvil ringing ; 

Early and late 3 T ou'd find me there a-hammering and sing- 
ing ; 

Love nerved my arm to labour, and moved my tongue to 
song, 

And, though my singing wasn't sweet, it was tremendous 
strong ! 

One day a one-arm'd stranger stopp'd to have me nail a 

shoe, 
And, while I was at work, we pass'd a compliment or two ; 
I ask'd him how he lost his arm. He said 'twas shot away 
At Malvern Hill. " Malvern Hill ! Did you know Robert 

May?" 



138 CHOICE READINGS. 

"That's me," said lie. "You, you!" I gasp'd, choking 

with horrid doubt ; 
"If you're the man, just follow me ; we'll try this mystery 

out!" 
With dizzy steps, I led him in to Mary. God ! 'Twas true ! 
Then the bitterest pangs of misery, unspeakable, I knew. 

Frozen with deadly horror, she stared with eyes of stone, 

And from her quivering lips there broke one wild, despair- 
ing moan. 

'Twas he ! the husband of her youth, now risen from the 
dead, 

But all too late ; and, with bitter cry, her senses fled. 

What could be done ? He was reported dead. On his re- 
turn 

He strove in vain some tidings of his absent wife to learn. 

'Twas well that he was innocent ! Else I'd have kill'd him, 
too, 

So dead he never would have riz till Gabriel's trumpet blew ! 

It was agreed that Mary then between us should decide, 
And each by her decision would sacredly abide. 
No sinner, at the judgment-seat, waiting eternal doom, 
Could suffer what I did, while waiting sentence in that room. 

Rigid and breathless, there we stood, with nerves as tense as 

steel, 
While Mary's e} r es sought each white face, in piteous appeal. 
God ! could not woman's duty be less hardly reconciled 
Between her lawful husband and the father of her child ? 

Ah, how nry heart was chill'd to ice, when she knelt down 

and said, — 
"Forgive me, John ! He is my husband ! Here! Alive! 

not dead ! 
I raised her tenderly, and tried to tell her she was right, 
But somehow, in my aching breast, the prison'd words stuck 

tight ! 



139 

"But, John, I can't leave baby." — "What! wife and 

child ! " cried I ; 
"Must I yield all! Ah, cruel fate! Better that I should 

die. 
Think of the long, sad, lonely hours, waiting in gloom for 

me, — 
No wife to cheer me with her love, — no babe to climb my 

knee ! 

And yet — you are her mother, and the sacred mother-love 
Is still the purest, tenderest tie that Heaven ever wove. 
Take her; but promise, Mary, — for that will bring no 

shame, — 
My little girl shall bear, and learn to lisp, her father's name ! " 

It ma}~ be, in the life to come, I'll meet my child and wife ; 
But yonder, by my cottage gate, we parted for this life ; 
One long hand-clasp from Mary, and my dream of love was 

done ! 
One long embrace from baby, and nry happiness was gone ! 

HOW HE SAVED ST. MICHAEL'S. 

It was long ago it happen' d, ere ever the signal gun 

That blazed above Fort Sumpter had waken'd the North as 

one ; 
Long ere the wondrous pillar of battle-cloud and fire 
Had mark'd where the unchain'd millions march' d on to 

their heart's desire. 

On the roofs and the glittering turrets, that night, as the 

Sun went down, 
The mellow glow of the twilight shone like a Jewell' d crown ; 
And, bathed in the living glory, as the people lifted their 

eyes, 
They saw the pride of the city, the spire of St. Michael's 

rise 



140 CHOICE READINGS. 

High over the lesser steeples, tipp'd with a golden ball, 

That hung like a radiant planet caught in its earthward 
fall, — 

First glimpse of home to the sailor who made the harbour- 
round, 

And last slow-fading vision dear to the outward bound. 

The gentry gathering shadows shut out the waning light ; 
The children pray'd at their bedsides, as you will pray to- 
night ; 
The noise of buyer and seller from the bus} r mart was gone ; 
And in dreams of a peaceful morrow the city slumber'd on. 

But another light than sunrise aroused the sleeping street ; 
For a cry was heard at midnight, and the rush of trampling 

feet; 
Men stared in each other's faces through mingled fire and 

smoke, 
While the frantic bells went clashing, clamorous stroke on 

stroke. 

B3 the glare of her blazing roof-tree the houseless mother 
fled, 

With the babe she press' d to her bosom shrieking in name- 
less dread, 

While the fire-king's wild battalions scaled wall and capstone 
high, 

And planted their flaring banners against an inky sky. 

For the death that raged behind them, and the crash of ruin 
loud, 

To the great square of the chy were driven the surging 
crowd ; 

Where yet, firm in all the tumult, unscathed by the fiery 
flood, 

With its heavenward-pointing finger the Church of St. Mich- 
ael stood. 



HOW HE ;AVED ST. MICHAEL*?. 141 

But e'en as they gazed upon it there re se a sadden wail. — 
A cry of horror, blended with the roaring of the gale. 
On whose - aing wings up-driven, a single flaming brand 
Aloft on the towering steeple clung like a bloody hand. 

"Will it fade?'" The whisper trembled from a thousand 

whitening lif - : 
Far out on the lurid harbour, they wateh'd it from the 

ships. — 
A baleful gleam that brighter and ever brighter shone. 
Like a flickering, trembling will-o'-wisp to a stead; beacon 

grown. 

" Uncounted gold shall be given to the man whose brave 

right hand. 
For the love of the perilTd city, plucks down yon burning 

bran 1 ! 
So cried the mayor of Charleston, that all the people heard : 
But they look'd each one at his fellow : and no man sj 

word. 

Who is it leans from the belfry, with face upturn'd to the 

sky. 
Clings to a column, and measures the dizzy spire with his 

Will he dare it. the hero undaunted, that terrible sickening 

height ? 
Or will the hot blood of his courage freeze in his veins at the 

sight? 

Bnt, see ! he has stepp'd on the railing: he climbs with his 
feet and his hands ; 

And firm on a narrow projection, with the belfry beneath 
him. he stan Is 

Xow once, and once only, they cheer him. — a singir fcem- 
pestDons breath. — 

And there falls on the multitude gazing a hush like the still- 
ness :: death. 



142 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

Slow, steadily mounting, unheeding aught save the goal of 

the fire, 
Still higher and higher, an atom, he moves on the face of 

the spire. , 
He stops ! Will he fall ? Lo ! for answer, a gleam like a 

meteor's track, 
And, hmTd on the stones of the pavement, the red brand 

lies shatter'd and black. 

Once more the shouts of the people have rent the quivering 

air : 
At the church-door mayor and council wait with their feet 

on the stair ; 
And the eager throng behind them press for a touch of his 

hand, — 
The unknown saviour, whose daring could compass a deed so 

grand. 

But why does a sudden tremor seize on them while the} r 

gaze? 
And what meaneth that stifled murmur of wonder and 

amaze ? 
He stood in the gate of the temple he had perilPd his life 

to save ; 
And the face of the hero, nry children, was the sable face of 

a slave. 

With folded arms he was speaking, in tones that were clear, 

not loud, 
And his ej^es, ablaze in their sockets, burnt into the eyes of 

the crowd : 
"You may keep your gold; I scorn it! — but answer me, 

3 T e who can, 
If the deed I have done before you be not the deed of a 

man?" 

He stepp'd but a short space backward ; and from all the 
women and men 



CURFEW MUST NOT RING TO-NIGHT. 143 

There were only sobs for answer; and the mayor ealFd for 

a pen, 
And the great seal of the city, that he might read who ran : 
And the slave who saved St. Michael's went out from its 

door, a man. 

— »o^o* 

OUErEW MUST NOT KING TO-NIGHT. 

Rose A. Hartwick Thorpe. 

England's Sun Avas slowly setting o'er the hills so far away. 

Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day : 

And the last rays kiss'd the forehead of a man and maiden 
fair. 

He with step so slow and weaken'd, she with sonny, floating- 
hair ; 

He with sad bow'd head, and thoughtful, she with lips so 
cold and white. 

Struggling to keep back the murmur, "Curfew must not 
ring to-night." 

"Sexton." — Bessie's white lips falter'd. pointing to the 
prison old. 

With its walls so dark and gloonrv, walls so dark and damp 
and cold, — 

" I've a lover in that prison, doom'd this very night to die 

At the ringing of the Curfew, and no earthly help is nigh. 

Cromwell will not come till sunset"; and her face grew 
strangely white, 

As she spoke in husk}- whispers, " Curfew must not ring to- 
night." 

"Bessie," calmly spoke the sexton, — every word pierced 

her young heart 
Like a thousand gleaming arrows, like a deadly poison' d 

dart, — 
"Long, long years I've rung the Curfew from that gloomy 

shadow' d tower ; 



144 CHOICE READINGS. 

Eveiy evening, just at sunset, it has told the twilight hour ; 
I have clone my duty ever, tried to do it just and right ; 
Now I'm old, I will not miss it ; girl, the Curfew rings to- 
night ! " 

AVild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her 
thoughtful brow, 

And within her heart's deep centre Bessie made a solemn 
vow : 

She had listen'd while the judges read, without a tear or 
sigh, 

" At the ringing of the Curfew Basil Underwood must die." 

And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grew 
large and bright, — 

One low murmur, scarcely spoken, " Curfew must not ring- 
to-night ! " 

She with light step bounded forward, sprang within the old 
church-door, 

Left the old man coming slowly, paths he'd trod so oft be- 
fore ; 

Not one moment paused the maiden, but, with cheek and 
brow aglow, 

Stagger'd up the gloomy tower, where the bell swung to and 
fro: 

Then she climb'd the slimy ladder, dark, without one ray of 
light, 

Upward still, her pale lips saying, " Curfew shall not ring to- 
night." 

She has reach' d the topmost ladder, o'er her hangs the great 
dark bell, 

And the awful gloom beneath her, like the pathway down to 
Hell; 

See, the ponderous tongue is swinging, 'tis the hour of Cur- 
few now ; 

And the sight has chill'd her bosom, stopp'd her breath and 
paled her brow. 



CURFEW MUST NOT RING TO-NIGHT. 145 

Shall she let it ring? No, never! her eyes flash with sud- 
den light, 

As she springs and grasps it firmly, " Curfew shall not ring 
to-night ! " 

Out she swung, far out ; the city seem'd a tiny speck below ; 

There 'twixt heaven and earth suspended, as the bell swung 
to and fro ; 

And the half -deaf Sexton ringing, (years he had not heard 
the bell,) 

And he thought the twilight Curfew rang young Basil's fune- 
ral knell : 

Still the maiden clinging firmly, cheek and brow so pale and 
white, 

Still'd her frighten* d heart's wild beating, " Curfew shall not 
ring to-night." 

It was o'er ; the bell ceased swaying, and the maiden 
stepp'd once more 

Firmly on the damp old ladder, where for hundred years be- 
fore 

Human foot had not been planted ; and what she this night 
had done 

Should be told in long years after : as the rays of setting 
Sun 

Light the sky with mellow beauty, aged sires, with heads of 
white, 

Tell their children why the Curfew did not ring that one sad 
night. 

O'er the distant hills came Cromwell ; Bessie saw him, and 

her brow, 
Lately white with sickening terror, glows with sudden beauty 

now : 
At his feet she told her stoiy, show'd her hands all bruised 

and torn ; 
And her sweet young face so haggard, with a look so sad 

and worn, 



146 CHOICE READINGS. 

Touch'd his heart with sudden pity, lit his eyes with misty 

light : 
" Go, your lover lives!" cried Cromwell; "Curfew shall 

not ring to-night." 

Wide the} T flung the massive portals, led the prisoner forth 

to die, 
All his bright young life before him. 'Neath the darkening 

English sky, 
Bessie came with flying footsteps, eyes aglow with love-light 

sweet ; 
Kneeling on the turf beside him, laid his pardon at his feet. 
In his brave, strong arms he clasp 'd her, kiss'd the face up- 

turn'd and white, 
Whisper'd, "Darling, you have saved me ; Curfew must not 

ring to-night." 

THE DEATH OP MR. BERTRAM. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

Me. Bertram, paralytic, and almost incapable of 
moving, occupied his easy chair, attired in his night- 
cap and a loose camlet coat, his feet wrapped in blan- 
kets. Behind him, with his hands crossed on the cane 
upon which he rested, stood Dominie Sampson, whom 
Mannering recognized at once. Time had made no 
change upon him, unless that his black coat seemed 
more brown, and his gaunt cheeks more lank, than 
when Mannering last saw him. On one side of the 
old man was a sylph-like form, — a young woman of 
about seventeen, whom Colonel Mannering accounted 
to be his daughter. 

She was looking, from time to time, anxiously towards 
the avenue, as if expecting a post-chaise ; and between 
whiles busied herself in adjusting the blankets, so as 
to protect her father from the cold, and in answering 



THE DEATH OF MR. BERTRAM. 147 

inquiries, which he seemed to make with a captious 
and querulous manner. She did not trust herself to 
look towards the Place, although the hum of the assem- 
bled crowd must have drawn her attention in that 
direction. The fourth person of the group was a hand- 
some and genteel young man, who seemed to share 
Miss Bertram's anxiety, and her solicitude to soothe 
and accommodate her parent. 

This young gentleman was the first who observed 
Colonel Mannering, and immediately stepped forward 
to meet him, as if politely to prevent his drawing 
nearer to the distressed group. Mannering instantly 
paused and explained. " He was," he said, " a stranger, 
to whom Mr. Bertram had formerly shown kindness 
and hospitality : he would not have intruded himself 
upon him at a period of distress, did it not seem to be 
in some degree a moment also of desertion ; he wished 
merely to offer such services as might be in his power 
to Mr. Bertram and the young lady/' 

He then paused at a little distance from the chair. 
His old acquaintance gazed at him with lack-lustre eye, 
that intimated no tokens of recognition ; the Dominie 
seemed too deeply sunk in distress even to observe his 
presence. The young man spoke aside with Miss Ber- 
tram, who advanced timidly, and thanked Colonel Man- 
nering for his goodness; "but/' she said, the tears 
gushing fast into her eyes, " her father, she feared, 
was not so much himself as to be able to remember 
him." 

She then retreated towards the chair, accompanied by 
the Colonel. " Father," she said, " this is Mr. Manner- 
ing, an old friend, come to inquire after you." 

" He's very heartily welcome," said the old man, 
raising himself in his chair, and attempting a gesture of 



148 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

courtesy, while a gleam of hospitable satisfaction seemed 
to pass over his faded features. 

" But, Lucy, my dear, let us go down to the house ; 
you should not keep the gentleman here in the cold. — 
Dominie, take the key of the wine-cooler. Mr. — the 
gentleman will surely take something after his ride." 

Mannering was unspeakably affected by the contrast 
which his recollection made between this reception and 
that with Avhich he had been greeted by the same indi- 
vidual when they last met. He could not restrain his 
tears, and his evident emotion at once attained him the 
confidence of the friendless young lady. 

" Alas ! " she said, " this is distressing even to a 
stranger ; but it may be better for my poor father to be 
in this way, than if he knew and could feel all." 

The sound of voices was now heard from the ruins. 
" Good God ! " said Miss Bertram hastily to Sampson, 
" 'tis that wretch Glossin's voice ! if my father sees him, 
it will kill him outright ! " 

Sampson wheeled perpendicularly round, and moved 
with long strides to confront the attorney, as he issued 
from beneath the portal arch of the ruin. "Avoid ye ! " 
he said, " avoid ye ! Wouldst thou kill and take pos- 



session 



" Come, come, Master Dominie Sampson," answered 
Glossin, insolently, " if ye cannot preach in the pulpit, 
we'll have no preaching here. We'll go by the law, my 
good friend ; we leave the Gospel to you." 

The very mention of this man's name had been of 
late a subject of the most violent irritation to the un- 
fortunate patient. The sound of his voice now pro- 
duced an instantaneous effect. Mr. Bertram started up 
without assistance, and turned round towards him ; the 
ehastliness of his features forming a strange contrast 



THE DEATH OF MR. BERTRAM. 149 

with the violence of his exclamations. " Out of my 
sight, ye viper ! ye frozen viper, that I warmed till ye 
stung me ! Art thou not afraid that the walls of my 
father's dwelling should fall and crush thee, limb and 
bone? Are ye not afraid the very lintels of the door of 
Elian go wan-castle should break open and swallow you 
up ? Were ye not friendless, — houseless, — penniless, 
when I took ye by the hand? and are ye not expelling 
me — me, and that innocent girl, — friendless, house- 
less, and penniless, from the house that has sheltered 
us and ours for a thousand years ? " 

Had Glossin been alone, he would probably have 
slunk off; but the consciouness that a stranger was 
present determined him to resort to impudence. The 
task, however, was almost too hard, even for his ef- 
frontery. Sir, — sir, — Mr. Bertram, — sir, you should 
not blame me, but your own imprudence, sir, — " 

The indignation of Mannering was mounting very 
high. "Sir," he said to Glossin, "without entering 
into the merits of this controversy, I must inform you 
that you have chosen a very improper place, time, and 
presence for it. And you will oblige me by withdraw- 
ing without more words.'' 

Glossin, being a tall, strong, muscular man, was not 
unwilling rather to turn upon a stranger, whom he 
hoped to bully, than maintain his wretched cause 
against his injured patron. " I do not know who you 
are, sir," he said, "and I shall permit no man to use 
such freedom with me." 

Mannering was naturally hot-tempered; his eyes 
Hashed a dark light ; he compressed his nether lip 
so closely that the blood sprung; and, approaching 
Glossin, " Look you, sir," he said, " that you do not 
know me, is of little consequence: I know you; and, if 



150 CHOICE READINGS. 

you do not instantly descend that bank, without utter- 
ing a single syllable, by the Heaven that is above us, 
you shall make but one step from the top to the 
bottom ! " 

The commanding tone of rightful anger silenced at 
once the ferocity of the bully. He hesitated, turned on 
his heel, and, muttering something between his teeth 
about his unwillingness to alarm the lady, relieved 
them of his hateful company. 

Mrs. Mac-Candlish's postillion, who had come up in 
time to hear what passed, said aloud, " If he had stuck 
by the way, I would have lent him a heezie, the dirty 
scoundrel, as willingly as ever I pitched a boddle." He 
then stepped forward to announce that his horses were 
in readiness for the invalid and his daughter. But 
they were no longer necessary. The debilitated frame 
of Mr. Bertram was exhausted by this last effort of in- 
dignant anger, and, wjien he sunk again upon his chair, 
he expired almost without a struggle or groan. So lit- 
tle alteration did the extinction of the vital spark make 
upon his external appearance, that the screams of his 
daughter, when she saw his eyes fix and felt his pulse 
stop, first announced his death to the spectators. 



LUOY BEETEAM AJH) DOMINIE SAMPSON. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

The funeral of the late Mr. Bertram was performed 
with decent privacy, and the unfortunate young lady 
was now to consider herself as but the temporary tenant 
of the house in which she had been born, and where her 
patience and soothing attentions had so long " rocked 
the cradle of declining age." Her communication with 
Mr. Mac-Morlan encouraged her to hope that she 



LUCY BERTRAM AND DOMINIE SAMPSON. 151 

would not be suddenly or unkindly deprived of this 
asylum ; but fortune had ordered otherwise. 

For two days before the appointed day for the sale of 
the land and estate of Ellangowan, Mac-Morlan daily 
expected the appearance of Colonel Mannering, or at 
least a letter containing powers to act for him. But 
none such arrived. " Could I have foreseen this," he 
said, "I would have travelled Scotland over, but I 
would have found some one to bid against Glossin." 
Alas ! such reflections were too late. The appointed 
hour arrived. Mac-Morlan spent as much time in pre- 
liminaries as decency would permit, and read over the 
articles of sale as slowly as if he had been reading his 
own death-warrant. He turned his eye every time the 
door of the room opened, with hopes which grew fainter 
and fainter. He listened to every noise in the street of 
the village, and endeavoured to distinguish in it the 
sound of hoofs or wheels. It was all in vain. After a 
solemn pause, Mr. Glossin offered the upset price for 
the lands and barony of Ellangowan. No reply was 
made, and no competitor appeared : so, after a lapse of 
the usual interval by the running of a sand-glass, upon 
the intended purchaser entering the proper sureties, 
Mr. Mac-Morlan was obliged, in technical terms, to 
"find and declare the sale lawfully completed, and to 
prefer the said Gilbert Glossin as the purchaser of the 
said lands and estates." 

An express arrived about six o'clock at night, " very 
particularly drunk," the maid servant said, with a 
packet from Colonel Mannering, dated four days back, 
at a town about a hundred miles distance, containing 
full powers to Mr. Mac-Morlan, or any one whom he 
might employ, to make the intended purchase, and stat- 
ing that some family business of consequence called the 



152 CHOICE READINGS. 

Colonel himself to Westmoreland, where a letter would 
find him. 

Mac-Morlan, in the transports of his wrath, flung the 
power of attorney at the head of the innocent maid- 
servant, and was only forcibly withheld from horse- 
whipping the rascally messenger, by whose sloth and 
drunkenness' the disappointment had taken place. 

Miss Bertram no sooner heard this painful and of 
late unexpected intelligence, than she proceeded in the 
preparations she had already made for leaving the man- 
sion-house immediately. Mr. Mac-Morlan assisted her 
in these arrangements, and pressed upon her so kindly 
the hospitality of his roof, until she should be enabled 
to adopt some settled plan of life, that she felt there 
would be unkindness in refusing an invitation urged 
with such earnestness. A home, therefore, and a hos- 
pitable reception were secured to her, and she went on, 
with better heart, to pay the wages and receive the 
adieus of the few domestics of her father's family. 

Where there are estimable qualities on either side, 
this task is always affecting ; the present circumstances 
rendered it doubly so. All received their due, and 
even a trifle more ; and, with thanks and good wishes, 
to which some added tears, took farewell of their young 
mistress. There remained in the parlour only Mr. 
Mac-Morlan, who came to attend his guest to his house, 
Dominie Sampson, and Miss Bertram. " And now," 
said the poor girl, " I must bid farewell to one of my 
oldest and kindest friends. — God bless you, Mr. 
Sampson ! and requite to you all the kindness of your 
instructions to your poor pupil, and your friendship to 
him that is gone ! I hope I shall often see you." She 
slid into his hand a paper containing some gold pieces, 
and rose, as if to leave the room. 



LUCY BERTRAM AND DOMINIE SAMPSON. 153 

Dominie Sampson also rose ; but it was to stand 
aghast with utter astonishment. The idea of parting 
from Miss Lucy, go where she might, had never once 
occurred to the simplicity of his understanding. He 
laid the money on the table. " It is certainly inade- 
quate," said Mac-Morlan, mistaking his meaning; "but 
the circumstances " — 

Mr. Sampson waved his hand impatiently, — " It is not 
the lucre, it is not the lucre ; but that I, that have ate 
of her father's loaf, and drunk of his cup, for twenty 
years and more, — to think that I am going to leave her, 
— and to leave her in distress and dolour ! — No, Miss 
Lucy, you need never think of it ; while I live, I will 
not separate from you. I'll be no burden ; I have 
thought how to prevent that. But, as Ruth said unto 
Naomi, ' Entreat me not to leave thee, nor to depart 
from thee ; for wither thou goest I will go, and where 
thou dwellest I will dwell : thy people shall be my peo- 
ple, and thy God shall be my God. Where thou diest 
will I die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so 
to me, and more also, if aught but death do part thee 
and me ! ' " 

During this speech, the longest ever Dominie Samp- 
son was known to utter, the affectionate creature's eyes 
streamed with tears ; and neither Lucy nor Mac-Morlan 
could refrain from sympathizing with this unexpected 
burst of feeling and attachment. " Mr. Sampson," said 
Mac-Morlan, after having had resource to his snuff-box 
and handkerchief alternately, "my house is large 
enough, and if you will accept of a bed there, while 
Miss Bertram honours us with her residence, I shall 
think myself very happy, and my roof much favoured 
by receiving a man of your worth and fidelity." And 
then, with a delicacy which was meant to remove any 



154 CHOICE READINGS. 

objection on Miss Bertram's part, he added, " My busi- 
ness requires frequently a better accountant than any 
of my present clerks, and I should be glad to have 
recourse to your assistance in that way now and then." 

"Of a surety, of a surety," said Sampson eagerly; 
" I understand book-keeping by double entry and the 
Italian method." 

Our postillion had thrust himself into the room to 
announce his chaise and horses : he tarried, unobserved, 
during this extraordinary scene, and assured Mrs. Mac- 
Candlish it was the most moving thing he ever saw; 
" the death of the gray mare, puir Lizzie, was nae thing 
till't." 

The visitors were hospitably welcomed by Mrs. Mac- 
Morlan, to whom, as well as to others, her husband inti- 
mated that he had engaged Dominie Sampson's assist- 
ance to disentangle some perplexed accounts ; during 
which occupation he would, for convenience-sake, reside 
with the family. 

Dominie Sampson achieved with great zeal such tasks 
as Mr. Mac-Morlan chose to intrust him with; but it 
was speedily observed that at a certain hour after break- 
fast he regularly disappeared, and returned again about 
dinner-time. The evening he occupied in the labour of 
the office. On Saturday, he appeared before Mr. Mac- 
Morlan with a look of great triumph, and laid on the 
table two pieces of gold. 

" What is this for, Dominie ? " said Mr. Mac-Morlan. 

" First, to indemnify you of your charges in my be- 
half, worthy sir ; and the balance for the use of Miss 
Lucy Bertram." 

"But, Mr. Sampson, your labour in the office much 
more than recompenses me ; I am your debtor, my good 
friend." 



LUCY BERTRAM AND DOMINIE SAMPSON. 155 

" Then be it all," said the Dominie, waving his hand, 
"for Miss Lucy Bertram's behoof." 

" Well, but, Dominie, this money " — 

" It is honestly come by, Mr. Mac-Morlan ; it is the 
bountiful reward of a young gentleman to whom I am 
teaching the tongues ; reading with him three hours 
daily." 

A few more questions extracted from the Dominie, 
that this liberal pupil was young Hazlewood, and that 
he met his preceptor daily at the house of Mrs. Mac- 
Candlish, whose proclamation of Sampson's disinterested 
attachment to the young lady had procured him this 
indefatigable and bounteous scholar. 

Mac-Morlan was much struck with what he heard. 
Little art was necessary to sift the Dominie, for the 
honest man's head never admitted any but the most 
direct and simple ideas. "Dees Miss Bertram know 
how your time is engaged, my good friend ? " 

" Surely not as yet ; Mr. Charles recommended it 
should be concealed from her, lest she should scruple to 
accept of the small assistance arising from it ; but," he 
added, " it would not be possible to conceal it long, 
since Mr. Charles proposed taking lessons occasionally 
at this house." 

" O, he does ! " said Mac-M orlan : " yes, yes, I can 
understand that better. And pray, Mr. Sampson, are 
these three hours entirely spent in construing and trans- 
lating?" 

" Doubtless, no ; we have also colloquial intercourse 
to sweeten study." 

The querist proceeded to elicit from him what their 
discourse chiefly turned upon. 

" Upon our past meetings at Ellangowan ; and, truly, 
I think, very often we discourse concerning Miss Lucy ; 



156 CHOICE READINGS. 

for Mr. Charles Hazlewood, in that particular, resembleth 
me, Mr. Mac-Morlan. When I begin to speak of her I 
never know when to stop ; and, as I say, (jocularly,) she 
cheats us out of half our lessons." 

THE ISLE OF LONG AGO. 

Benj. F. Taylor. 

O a wonderful stream is the river Time, 

As it runs through the realm of tears, 
With a faultless rhythm and a musical rhyme, 
And a boundless sweep and a surge sublime, 

As it blends with the Ocean of Years. 

How the Winters are drifting, like flakes of snow, 

And the Summers like buds between, 
And the year in the sheaf ; so they come and they go, 
On the river's breast, with its ebb and flow, 

As it glides in the shadow and sheen. 

There's a magical isle up the river Time, 

Where the softest of airs are playing ; 
There's a cloudless sky and a tropical clime, 
And a song as sweet as a vesper chime, 

And the Junes with the roses are straying. 

And the name of that Isle is the Long Ago, 

And we bury our treasures there ; 
There are brows of beauty and bosoms of snow ; 
There are heaps of dust, — but we loved them so ! 

There are trinkets and tresses of hair ; 

There are fragments of song that nobody sings, 

And a part of an infant's prayer ; 
There's a lute unswept, and a harp without strings; 
There are broken vows and pieces of rings, 

And the garments that she used to wear. 

There are hands that are waved when the fairy shore 

By the mirage is lifted in air ; 
And we sometimes hear through the turbulent roar 
Sweet voices we heard in the days gone before, 

When the wind down the river is fair. 



THE PAUPER S DEATH-BED. 157 

O, remember'cl for aye be the blessed Isle, 

All the day of our life until night ; 
When the evening comes with its beautiful smile, 
And our eyes are closing to slumber awhile, 

May that " Greenwood " of Soul be in sight ! 

00>*j00 

THE PAUPEK'S DEATH-BEAD. 

C. B. SOUTHEY. 

Tread softly ; bow the head, 

In reverent silence bow ; 
No passing-bell doth toll, 
Yet an immortal soul 

Is passing now. 

Stranger, however great, 

AVith lowly reverence bow : 
There's one in that poor shed, 
One by that paltry bed, 

Greater than thou. 

Beneath that beggar's roof, 

Lo ! Death does keep his state : 
Enter, ■ — no crowds attend ; 
Enter, — no guards defend 

This palace-gate. 

That pavement, damp and cold, 

No smiling courtiers tread ; 
One silent woman stands, 
Lifting with meagre hands 

A dying head. 

No mingling voices sound, — 

An infant wail alone ; 
A sob suppress'd, — again 
That short, deep gasp, and then 

The parting groan. 

O change ! O wondrous change ! 

Burst are the prison-bars ; 
This moment there, so low, 
So agonized, and now 

Beyond the stars ! 



158 CHOICE READINGS. 

change, stupendous change ! 

There lies the soulless clod ! 
The Sun eternal breaks, — 
The new immortal wakes, — 

Wakes with his God ! 

OUR WILLIE. 

Lie lightly on our Willie, earth ! 

Press gently on his side : 
Eight years he grew beside our hearth, 

Then laid him down and died. 

And let his sleep be peaceful there, 
Whose life was wroug'd with pain, 

For sweet his spirit was and fair, 
His talk like gentle rain. 

And he was brave of soul and true, 
His thoughts they knew no guile ; 

Nor ever fell more soft the dew 
Than did his loving smile. 

Patient he was, from murmur free, 
Though hard his childish lot ; 

'Twould grieve } 7 ou much his pangs to see, 
And yet he murmur'd not. 

For on his trusting spirit fell 

The peace that passes thinking ; 
He knew the love of Christ to tell, 
The love that worketh all things well, 
And holds the meek from sinking. 

" Thy rod and staff my comfort are," 

Thus sang our precious boy : — 
u Christ leads me forth with tender care, 
To freshest streams He guides my feet, 
At His own table bids me eat, — 
Christ lights my path with joy. 



FORTY YEARS AGO. 159 

' ; What though the vale be dark and drear," 

So ran our Willie's song, — 
' b I'll pass it still, and feel no fear, 

For Christ will make me strong." 

We miss him here, we miss him there ; 

Nought breaks his deep reposing : 
His voice no more in song or pra3 7 er, 
No more his talk by day we share, 

Nor kiss when day is closing. 

We call, — he answers not the while ; 

His thoughts we cannot measure ; 
" This home is best," he seems to smile, 

Our lost yet living treasure. 



&K* 



FORTY YEARS AGO. 

I've wander'd to the village, Tom, 

I've sat beneath the tree, 
Upon the school- house play-ground, 

That shelter' d 3-011 and me ; 
But none were left to greet me, Tom, 

And few were left to know, 
Who play'd with us upon that green 

Just forty years ago. 

The grass was just as green, Tom, 

Barefooted boys at play 
Were sporting, just as we did then, 

With spirits just as gay : 
But the master sleeps upon the hill, 

Which, coated o'er with snow, 
Afforded us a sliding-place 

Some forty years ago. 



160 CHOICE READINGS. 

The old school-house is alter' d some, 

The benches are replaced 
By new ones, very like the same 

Our jack-knives had defaced ; 
But the same old bricks are in the wall, 

And the bell swings to and fro, 
It's music just the same, dear Tom, 

'Twas fort}^ years ago. 

The boys were playing some old game 

Beneath that same old tree ; 
I do forget the name just now, — 

You've play'd the same with me 
On that same spot ; 'twas play'd with knives, 

By throwing so and so ; 
The loser had a task to do 

There forty years ago. 

The river's running just as still; 

The willows on its side 
Are larger than they were, Tom ; 

The stream appears less wide ; 
But the grape-vine swing is miss'd now, 

Where once we play'd the beau, 
And swung our sweethearts — pretty girls — 

Just forty years ago. 

The spring that bubbled 'neath the hill, 

Close by the spreading beech, 
Is very low ; 'twas once so high 

That we could scarcely reach ; 
And kneeling down to take a drink, 

Dear Tom, I started so, 
To think how very much I've changed 

Since forty years ago. 

Near by that spring, upon an elm, 
You know, I cut your name ; 



NEARER HOME. 161 

Your sweetheart's just beneath it, Tom, 

And you did mine the same. 
Some heartless wretch has peel'd the bark ; 

'Twas dying sure, but slow, 
Just as she died whose name you cut 

There forty years ago. 

My lids have long been dry, Tom, 

But tears came in my eyes ; 
I thought of her I loved so well, 

Those early broken ties. 
I visited the old church-yard, 

And took some flowers to strow 
Upon the graves of those we loved 

Just fort}' years ago. 

Some are in the church-yard laid, 

Some sleep beneath the sea ; 
But none are left of our old class 

Excepting you and me. 
And when our time shall come, Tom, 

And we are call'd to go, 
I hope we'll meet with those we loved 

Some fort}' years ago. 

NEAEEE HOME. 

Phcebe Cary. 

One sweetly solemn thought 

Comes to me o'er and o'er : 
I'm nearer my home to-day 

Than I ever have been before ; 

Nearer my Father's house, 

Where the many mansions be ; 



162 CHOICE READINGS. 

Nearer the great white throne ; 
Nearer the crystal sea ; 

Nearer the bound of life, 

Where we lay our burdens down; 

Nearer leaving the cross, 
Nearer gaining the crown ! 

But the waves of that silent sea 
Roll dark before my sight, 

That brightly the other side 
Break on a shore of light. 

O, if my mortal feet 

Have almost gain'd the brink ; 
If it be I am nearer home 

Even to-day than I think ; 

Father, perfect my trust ; 

Let my spirit feel in death, 
That her feet are firmly set 

On the Rock of a living faith ! 



MICHAEL AND HIS SON. 

William Wordsworth. 

Near the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll, 
In that deep valley, Michael had design'd 
To build a Sheep-fold ; and, before he heard 
The tidings of his melancholy loss, 
For this same purpose he had gather'd up 
A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's edge 
Lay thrown together, ready for the work. 
With Luke that evening thitherward he walk'd ; 
And soon as they had reach'd the place he stopp'd, 
And thus the old man spake to him : " My son, 
To-morrow thou wilt leave me : with full heart 



MICHAEL AND HIS SOX. 163 

I look upon thee, for thou art the same 
That wert a promise to me ere thy birth. 
And all thy life hast been my daily joy. 
I will relate to thee some little part 
Of our two histories : "twill do thee good 
When thou art from me. even if I should touch 
On things thou canst not know of. — After thou 
Fust earnest into the world. — as oft befalls 
To new-;. orn infants. — thou didst sleep away 
Two days, and blessings from thy father's tongue 
Then fell upon thee. Day by day pass'd <m. 
And still I loved thee with increasing love. 

r to living ime sw ;tei sounds 

Than when I heard thee by oar own fire-side 
First uttering, without words, a natural tune ; 
While thou, a feeding bade, 1st in thy joy 
Sing at thy mother's breast. Month follow'd month. 
And in the open fields my life was pass'd, 
And on the mountains : else I think that thou 

:i brought up upon thy Father's kne js. 
But we were playmates. Luke : among these hills. 
As well thou know'st. in us the old and young 
Have play "d together, nor with me didst thou 
L ;k any pleasure which a boy can know.' 3 
Luke had a manly heart : but at these words 
He sobl 1 aloud. The old man grasp'd his hand. 
And said. " Nay, do not take it so. — I - 
That these are things of which I need not speak. 

i to the utmost I have been to thee 
A kind and a good father : and herein 
I but repay a gift which I myself 
Keeerved at others' hand : for. though now old 

nd the common life of man. I still 
Eemember them who loved me in my youth. 
Both of them sleep together : here they lived. 
As U their forefathers had done : and. when 
At length their time was come, they were not 1 \. 



164 CHOICE READINGS. 

To give their bodies to the family mould. 

I wish'd that thou should st live the life they lived : 

But 'tis a long time to look back, my son, 

And see so little gain from threescore years. 

These fields were burden 'd when they came to me ; 

Till I was forty years of age, not more 

Than half of nry inheritance was mine. 

I toil'd and toil'd ; God bless'd me in my work. 

And till these three weeks past the land was free. 

It looks as if it never could endure 

Another master. Heaven forgive me, Luke, 

If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good 

That thou shouldst go." 

At this the old man paused ; 
Then, pointing to the stones near which the}- stood, 
Thus, after a short silence, he resumed : 
" This was a work for us ; and now, my son, 
It is a work for me. But, lay one stone, — 
Here, lay it for me, Luke, with thine own hands. 
Na} T , boy, be of good hope ; — we both ma}' live 
To see a better da}-. At eighty-four 
I still am strong and hale ; — do thou tlrv part ; 
I will do mine. — I will begin again 
With man}' tasks that were resign'd to thee : 
Up to the heights, and in among the storms, 
Will I without thee go again, and do 
All works which I was wont to do alone, 
Before I knew thy face. — Heaven bless thee, boy ! 
Thy heart these two weeks has been beating fast 
With many hopes ; it should be so, — yes — yes ; — 
I knew that thou couldst never have a wish 
To leave me, Luke : thou hast been bound to me 
Only by links of love : when thou art gone, 
What will be left to us ? — But I forget 
My purposes. La} r now the corner-stone, 
As I requested ; and hereafter, Luke, 
When thou art gone away, should evil men 



LEONARD AND MARGARET. 105 

Be thy companions, think of me, my son, 
And of this moment ; hither turn thy thoughts, 
And God will strengthen thee : amid all fear 
And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou 
Mayst bear in mind the life thy fathers lived, 
Who, being innocent, did for that cause 
Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare thee well ! 
When thou return'st, thou in this place wilt see 
A work which is not here : a covenant 
'Twill be between us ; but, whatever fate 
Befall thee, I shall love thee to the last, 
And bear thy memory with me to the grave." 

The Shepherd ended here ; and Luke stoop' d down, 
And, as his father had requested, 
Laid the first stone of the Sheep-fold. At the sight 
The old man's grief broke from him ; to his heart 
He press' d his son, he kissed him and wept ; 
And to the house together they return'd. 
Hush'd was that house in peace, or seeming peace, 
Ere the night fell : with morrow's dawn the boy 
Began his journey, and when he had reach'd 
The public way, he put on a bold face ; 
And all the neighbours, as he pass'd their doors, 
Came forth with wishes and with farewell prayers, 
That follow'd him till he was out of sight. 

oo^W 

LEONAKD AND MARGARET. 

Robert Southey. 

Leonard was not more than eight-and-twenty when 
lie obtained a living, a few miles from Doncaster. He 
took his bride with him to the vicarage. The house 
was as humble as the benefice, which was worth less 
than fifty pounds a-year; but it was soon made the 
neatest cottage in the country round, and upon a hap- 



16G CHOICE HEADINGS. 

pier dwelling the Sun never shone. A few acres of 
good glebe were attached to it ; and the garden was 
large enough to afford healthful and pleasureable em- 
ployment to the owners. The course of true love never 
ran more smoothly ; but its course was short. Little 
more than five years from the time of their marriage 
had elapsed, before a head-stone in the adjacent church- 
yard told where the remains of Margaret Bacon had 
been deposited in the thirtieth year of her age. 

When the stupor and the agony of that bereavement 
had passed away, the very intensity of Leonard's affec- 
tion became a source of consolation. Margaret had 
been to him purely an ideal object during the years of 
his youth : death had again rendered her such. Imagi- 
nation had beautified and idolized her then ; faith sanc- 
tified and glorified her now. She had been to him all 
that he had fancied, all that he had hoped, all that he 
had desired. She would again be so in Heaven. And 
this second union nothing could impede, nothing could 
interrupt, nothing could dissolve. He had only to keep 
himself worthy of it by cherishing her memory, hallow- 
ing his heart to it while he performed a parent's duty 
to their child; and, so doing, to await his own sum- 
mons, which must one day come, which was every day 
brought nearer, and which any day might bring. 

The same feeling which from his childhood had re- 
fined Leonard's heart, keeping it pure and unclefiled, 
had also corroborated the natural strength of his char- 
acter, and made him firm of purpose. It was a spying 
of Bishop Andrewes that "good husbandry is good 
divinity " ; " the truth whereof," says Fuller, " no wise 
man will deny." Frugality he had always practised as 
a needful virtue, and found that in an especial manner 
it brings with it its own reward. He now resolved 



LEOXAKD AND MARGARET. 1G7 

upon scrupulously setting apart a fourth of his small 
income, to make a provision for his child, in case of her 
surviving Mm, as in the natural course of things inio-ht 
he expecT-d. If she should be removed before Mm. — 
for tliis was an event the possibility of which he always 
bore in mind. — he resolved that whatever had been 
accumulated with this intent should be disposed of to 
- me other pious purpose: for such, within the limits 
to which his poor means extended, he properly consid- 
ered this. And, having entered on this prudential 
course with a calm reliance upon Providence in case 
his hour should come before that purpose could be ac- 

mplished, he was without any eartMy hope or fear. — 
those alone excepted, from which no parent can be 
free. 

The child had been christened Deborah, after her 
maternal grandmother, for whom Leonard ever retained 
a most affectionate and reverential remembrance. She 
was a healthy, happy creature ; at first 

One of those little prating girls 
Of whom fond parents tell such tedious stories : 

afterwards, as she grew up, a favourite with the village 
school-mistress, and with the whole parish : docile, good- 
natured, lively, and yet considerate, always gay as a 
lark and busy as a bee. One of the pensive pleasures 
in which Leonard indulged was to gaze on her unper- 
ceived, and trace the likeness of her mother. 

That resemblance, which was strong in childhood, 
lessened as the child grew up : for Margaret's counte- 
nance had acquired a cast of meek melancholy during 
those years in which the bread of bitterness had been 
her portion : and when hope came to her. it was that 
k * hope deferred " which takes from the cheek its bloom, 
even when the heart, instead of beMg made sick, is sus- 



168 CHOICE READINGS. 

tainecl by it. But no unhappy circumstances depressed 
the constitutional buoyancy of her daughter's spirits. 
Deborah brought into the world the happiest of all 
Nature's endowments, an easy temper and a light heart. 
Resemblant, therefore, as the features were, the dissi- 
militude of expression was more apparent ; and, when 
Leonard contrasted in thought the sunshine of hilarity 
that lit up his daughter's face, with the sort of moon- 
light loveliness which had given a serene and saint-like 
character to her mother's, he wished to persuade him- 
self that, as the early translation of the one seemed to 
have been thus prefigured, the other might be destined 
to live for the happiness of others till a good old age, 
while length of years in these should ripen her for 
Heaven. 



THE STABILITY OP VIKTUE. 

T. Marshall. 

The sturdy rock, for all his strength, 
By raging seas is rent in twain ; 

The marble stone is pierced at length 
With little drops of drizzling rain ; 

The ox doth yield unto the yoke, 

The steel obeys the hammer-stroke : 

The stately stag, that seems so stout, 
B}- yelping hounds at bay is set ; 

The swiftest bird that flies about 
Is caught at length in fowler's net ; 

The greatest fish, in deepest brook, 

Is soon deceived with subtle hook : 

Yea, man himself, unto whose will 
All things are bounden to obey, 

For all his wit and worthy skill, 

Doth fade at length, and fall away : 



THE OCEAN BURIAL. 1G9 

There is no thing but time doth waste ; 
The heavens, the Earth consume at last. 

But virtue sits triumphing still 

Upon the throne of glorious fame : 

Though spiteful death man's body kill, 
Yet hurts he not his virtuous name : 

By life or death whate'er betides, 

The state of virtue never slides. 

oo^O. 

THE OOEAN BUEIAL. 

Capt. Wm. H. Saunders (U. S. A.). 

[My brother, Capt. \Vm. H. Saunders, wrote " Bury me not in the deep 
sea " nearly forty years ago, published it in the ' ' New Orleans Picayune," 
gave a copy to a lady: after his death (at least live or six years after) she, 
I think, claimed to be the authoress of it, but I had the original manuscript 
and knew it to be his own production. 

Leesburgh, Va,, June 26th, '83. H. Saunders.] 

" O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea ! " 
These words came low and mournfully. 
From the pallid lips of a youth, who lay 
On his cabin couch, at the close of day. 
He had wasted and pined, 'till o'er his brow 
The death-shade had slowly pass'd ; and now, 
When the land and his fond-loved home were nigh, 
They had gather' d around to see him die. 

" O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea, 

Where the billowy shroud will roll over me, 

Where no light will break through the dark cold wave, 

And no sunbeam rest upon 1113* grave ! 

It matters not, I have oft been told, 

Where the body shall lie when the heart is cold ; 

Yet grant ye, O, grant }"e this one boon to me, 

O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea ! 



170 CHOICE READINGS. 

For in fancy I've listen' d to the well-known words, 
The free wild winds, and the songs of the birds ; 
I have thought of home, of cot and bower, 
And of scenes that I loved in childhood's hour : 
I have even hoped to be laid, when I died, 
In the church-yard there, on the green hill-side ; 
By the bones of my fathers my grave should be : 
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea. 

Let my death-slumbers be where a mother's prayer 
And a sister's tear shall be mingled there : 
O, 'twill be sweet, ere the heart's throb is o'er, 
To know, when its fountains shall gush no more, 
That those it so fondly hath yearn'd for will come 
To plant the first wild flowers of Spring on my tomb ; 
Let me lie where those loved ones will weep o'er me : 
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea. 

And there is another ; her tears would be shed 
For him who lay far in the deep ocean-bed : 
In hours that it pains me to think of now, 
She hath twined these locks and hath kiss'd this brow : 
In the hair she hath wreathed shall the sea-snake hiss, 
And the brow she hath press'd shall the cold wave kiss 
For the sake of the bright one that waiteth for me, 
O, bury me not in the deep, deep sea. 

She hath been in my dreams." — his voice fail'd there. 
The}' gave no heed to his dying prayer ; 
They lower'd him slow o'er the vessel's side ; 
Above him has closed the dark, cold tide, 
Where to dip their light wings the sea-fowls rest, 
Where the blue waves dance o'er the ocean's crest, 
Where billows bound, and the winds sport free : 
The}' have buried him there in the deep, deep sea. 



THE GOOD SON. 171 

THE GOOD SON. 

R. H. Dana. 

There is no virtue without a characteristic beauty 
to make it particularly loved of the good, and to make 
the bad ashamed of their neglect of it. To do what is 
right, argues superior taste as well as morals; and those 
whose practice is evil feel an inferiority of intellectual 
power and enjoyment, even where they take no con- 
cern for a principle. Doing well has something more in 
it than the fulfilling of a duty. It is a cause of a just 
sense of elevation of character ; it clears and strengthens 
the spirits ; it gives higher reaches of thought ; it widens 
our benevolence, and makes the current of our peculiar 
affections swift and deep. 

A sacrifice was never 3-et offered to a principle, that 
was not made up to us by self-approval, and the consid- 
eration of what our degradation would have been had 
we done otherwise. Certainly, it is a pleasant and a 
Avise thing, then, to follow what is right, when we only 
go along with our affections, and take the easy way of 
the virtuous propensities of our nature. 

The world is sensible of these truths, let it act as it 
may. It is not because of his integrity alone that it 
relies on an honest man ; but it has more confidence in 
his judgment and wise conduct, in the long run, than in 
the schemes of those of greater intellect, who £0 at 
large without any landmarks of principle. So that vir- 
tue seems of a double nature, and to stand oftentimes 
in the place of what we call talent. 

This reasoning, or rather feeling, of the world, is all 
right: for the honest man only falls in with the order 
of Nature, which is grounded in truth, and will endure 
along with it. And such a hold has a good man upon 



172 CHOICE READINGS. 

the world, that, even where he has not been called upon 
to make a sacrifice to a principle, or to take a stand 
against wrong, but has merely avoided running into 
vices, and suffered himself to be borne along by the 
delightful and virtuous affections of private life, and 
has found his pleasure in practising the duties of home, 
he is looked up to with respect, as well as regarded with 
kindness. We attach certain notions of refinement to 
his thoughts, and of depth to his sentiment. The 
impression he makes on us is beautiful and peculiar. 
Other men in his presence, though we have nothing to 
object to them, and though they may be very well in 
their way, affect us as lacking something, — we can 
hardly tell what, — a certain sensitive delicacy of char- 
acter and manner, without which they strike us as more 
or less vulgar. 

No creature in the world has this character so finely 
marked in him as a respectful and affectionate son, — 
particularly in his relation to his mother. Every little 
attention he pays her is not only an expression of filial 
attachment, and a grateful acknowledgment of jDast 
cares, but is an evidence of a tenderness of disposition 
which moves us the more, because not looked on so 
much as an essential property in a man's character, as 
an added grace, which is bestowed only upon a few. 
His regards do not appear like mere habits of duty, nor 
does his watchfulness of his mother's wishes seem like 
taught submission to her will. They are the native 
courtesies of a feeling mind, showing themselves amidst 
stern virtues and masculine energies, like gleams of 
light on points of rocks. They are delightful as evi- 
dences of power yielding voluntary homage to the deli- 
cacy of the soul. The armed knee is bent, and the 
heart of the mailed man laid bare. 



THE WIDOW AND HER SOX. 173 

Feelings that would seem to be at variance with each 
other meet together and harmonize in the breast of a 
son. Everj^ call of the mother which he answers to, 
and every act of submission which he performs, are 
not only so many acknowledgments of her authority, 
but also so many instances of kindness and marks of 
protecting regard. The servant and defender, the 
child and guardian, are all mingled in him. The world 
looks on him in this way ; and to draw upon a man the 
confidence, the respect, and the love of the world, it is 
enough to say of him, he is an excellent son. 

THE WIDOW AND HEE SON, 

Washington* Irving. 

During my residence in the country, I used fre- 
quently to attend at the old village church, which 
stood in a country filled with ancient families, and con- 
tained, within its cold and silent aisles, the congregated 
dust of many noble generations. Its shadowy aisles, 
its mouldering monuments, its dark oaken panelling, 
all reverend with the gloom of departed years, seemed 
to fit it for the haunt of solemn meditation. A Sunday, 
too, in the country, is so holy in its repose ; such a pen- 
sive quiet reigns over the face of Nature, that every 
restless passion is charmed down, and we feel all the 
natural religion of the soul gently springing up within 

us: 

Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright, 
The bridal of the Earth and Sky ! 

I do not pretend to be what is called a devout man : 
but there are feelings that visit me in a country church, 
amid the beautiful serenity of Nature, which I experi- 



174 CHOICE READINGS. 

ence nowhere else ; and, if not a more religious, I think 
I am a better man on Sunday than on saiy other day of 
the seven. 

But in this church I felt myself continually thrown 
back upon the world by the frigidity and pomp of the 
poor worms around me. The only being that seemed 
thoroughly to feel the humble and prostrate piety of a 
true Christian, was a poor decrepit old woman, bending 
under the weight of years and infirmities. She bore 
the trace of something better than abject povert}^ The 
lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appear- 
ance. Her dress, though humble in the extreme, was 
scrupulously clean. Some trivial respect, too, had been 
awarded her, for she did not take her seat among the 
village poor, but sat alone on the steps of the altar. 
She seemed to have survived all love, all friendship, all 
society ; and to have nothing left her but the hopes of 
Heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending 
her aged form in prayer, — habitually conning her 
prayer-book, which her palsied hand and failing eyes 
would not permit her to read, but which she evidently 
knew by heart, — I felt persuaded that the faltering 
voice of that poor woman arose to Heaven far before 
the responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the 
chanting of the choir. 

I am fond of loitering about countiy churches, and 
this was . so delightfully situated, that it frequently 
attracted me. It stood on a knoll, round which a 
stream made a beautiful bend, and then wound its way 
through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The 
church was surrounded by yew-trees, which seemed 
almost coeval with itself. Its tall Gothic spire shot up 
lightly from among them, with rooks and crows gen- 
erally wheeling about it. I was seated there one still, 



THE WIDOW AXD HER SOX. 175 

sunny morning, watching two labourers who were dig- 
ging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote 
and neglected corners of the church-yard, where, from 
the number of nameless graves around, it would appear 
that the indigent and friendless were huddled into the 
earth. I was told that the new-made grave was for the 
only son of a poor widow. 

While I was meditating on the distinctions of wordly 
rank, which extend thus down into the very dust, 
the toll of the bell announced the approach of the 
funeral. They were the obsequies of poverty, with 
wmich pride had nothing to do. A coffin of the 
plainest materials, without pall or other covering, was 
borne by some of the villagers. The sexton walked 
before with an air of cold indifference. There were no 
mock mourners in the trappings of affected Avoe ; but 
there was one real mourner who feebly tottered after 
the corpse. It was the aged mother of the deceased. — 
the poor old woman whom I had seen seated on the 
steps of the altar. She was supported by an humble 
friend, who was endeavouring to comfort her. A few 
of the neighbouring poor had joined the train, and some 
children of the village were running hand in hand, now 
shouting with unthinking mirth, and now pausing to 
gaze, with childish curiosity, on the grief of the mourner. 

As the funeral train approached the grave, the par- 
son issued from the church porch, arrayed in the sur- 
plice, with prayer-book in hand, and attended by the 
clerk. The service, however, was a mere act of charity. 
The deceased had been destitute, and the survivor Avas 
penniless. It was shuffled through, therefore, in form, 
but coldly and unfeelingly. The well-fed priest moved 
but a few steps from the church-door ; his voice could 
scarcely be heard at the grave ; and never did I hear 



176 CHOICE READINGS. 

the funeral service, that sublime and touching cere- 
mony, turned into such a frigid mummery of words. 

I approached the grave. The coffin was placed on 
the ground. On it was inscribed the name and age of 
the deceased, " George Somers, aged 26 years." The 
poor mother had been assisted to kneel down at the 
head of it. Her withered hands were clasped as if in 
prayer, but I could perceive, by a feeble rocking of the 
body, and a convulsive motion of the lips, that she was 
gazing on the last relics of her son with the yearnings 
of a mother's heart. 

The service being ended, preparations were made to 
deposit the coffin in the earth. There was that bustling 
stir which breaks so harshly on the feelings of grief and 
affection: directions given in the cold tones of business; 
the striking of spades into sand and gravel ; which, at 
the grave of those we love, is, of all sounds, the most 
withering. The bustle around seemed to waken the 
mother from a wretched revery. She raised her glazed 
eyes, and looked about with a faint wildness. As the 
men approached with cords to lower the coffin into the 
grave, she wrung her hands and broke into an agony 
of grief. The poor woman who attended her took her 
by the arm, endeavouring to raise her from the earth, 
and to whisper something like consolation, " Nay, now, 
— nay, now, — -don't take it so sorely to heart!" She 
could only shake her head, and wring her hands, as one 
not to be comforted. 

As they lowered the body into the earth, the creaking 
of the cords seem to agonize her ; but when, on some 
accidental obstruction, there was a justling of the coffin, 
all the tenderness of the mother burst forth ; as if any 
harm could come to him who was far beyond the reach 
of worldly suffering. 



RIVERMOUTH ROCKS. 177 

I could see no more ; my heart swelled into my throat, 
my eyes filled with tears ; I felt as if I were acting a 
barbarous part, in standing by and gazing idly on this 
scene of maternal anguish. I wandered to another part 
of the church-yard, where I remained until the funeral 
train had dispersed. 

When I saw the mother slowly and painfully quitting 
the grave, leaving behind her the remains of all that 
was dear to her on Earth, and returning to silence and 
destitution, my heart ached for her. What, thought I, 
are the distresses of the rich ! they have friends to 
soothe, pleasures to beguile, a world to divert and dissi- 
pate their griefs. What are the sorrows of the young ! 
Their growing minds soon close above the wound; 
their elastic spirits soon rise beneath the pressure ; 
their green and ductile affections soon twine round 
new objects. But the sorrows of the poor, who have no 
outward appliances to soothe ; the sorrows of the aged, 
with whom life at best is but a wintry day, and who 
can look for no after-growth of joy ; the sorrows of a 
widow, aged, solitary, destitute, mourning over an only 
son, the last solace of her years ; — these are indeed 
sorrows which make us feel the impotency of con- 
solation. 

EIVEEMOUTH BOOKS. 

John G. Whittiek. 

Rivermouth Rocks are fair to see, 

B} T dawn or sunset shone across, 
"When the ebb of the sea has left them free, 

To dry their fringes of gold green moss : 
For there the river comes winding down 
From salt sea-meadows and uplands brown, 



178 CHOICE READINGS. 

And waves on the outer rocks afoam 
Shout to its waters, " Welcome home ! " 

And fair are the sunny isles in view 

East of the grisly Head of the Boar, 
And Agamenticus lifts its blue 

Disk of a cloud the woodlands o'er; 
And southerly, when the tide is down, 
'Twixt white sea- waves and sand-hills brown, 
The beach-birds dance and the gray gulls wheel 
Over a floor of burnish'd steel. 

Once in the old Colonial days, 

Two hundred years ago and more, 
A boat sail'd down through the winding ways 

Of Hampton River to that low shore, 
Full of a goodly compan}' 
Sailing out on the summer sea, 
Veering to catch the land-breeze light, 
With the Boar to left and the Rocks to right. 

In Hampton meadows, where mowers laid 

Their scythes to the swaths of salted grass, 
" Ah, well-a-day ! our hay must be made ! " 
A young man sigh'd, who saw them pass. 
Loud laugh'd his fellows to see him stand 
Whetting his scythe with a listless hand, 
Hearing a voice in a far-off song, 
Watching a white hand beckoning long. 

" Fie on the witch ! " cried a merry girl, 

As they rounded the point where G-oody Cole 

Sat by her door with her wheel atwirl, 
A bent and blear-eyed poor old soul. 

" Oho ! " she mutter'd, " ye're brave to-day ! 

But I hear the little waves laugh and say, 

' The broth will be cold that waits at home ; 

For it's one to go, but another to come ! ' " 



RIVERMOUTH ROCKS. 179 

" She's cursed," said the skipper ; " speak her fair : 

I'm scaiy always to see her shake 
Her wicked head, with its wild gray hair, 

And nose like a hawk, and eyes like a snake." 
But merrily still, with laugh and shout, 
From Hampton River the boat sail'd out, 
Till the huts and the flakes on the Star seem'd nigh, 
And they lost the scent of the pines of Rye. 

They dropp'd their lines in the lazy tide, 
Drawing up haddock and mottled cod ; 

They saw not the shadow that walk'd beside, 
The}- heard not the feet with silence shod : 

But thicker and thicker a hot mist grew, 

Shot by the lightnings through and through ; 

And muffled growls, like the growl of a beast, 

Ran along the sky from west to east. 

Then the skipper look'd from the darkening sea 

Up to the dimm'd and wading Sun ; 
But he spake like a brave man cheerily, 

" Yet there is time for our homeward run." 
Veering and tacking, they backward wore ; 
And, just as a breath from the woods ashore 
Blew out to whisper of danger past, 
The wrath of the storm came down at last ! 

The skipper haul'cl at the heavy sail : 

" God be our help," he only cried, 
As the roaring gale, like the stroke of a flail, 

Smote the boat on its starboard side. 
The shoalsmen look'd. but saw alone 
Dark films of rain-cloud slantwise blown, 
Wild rocks lit up by the lightning's glare, 
The strife and torment of sea and air. 

Goody Cole look'd out from her door : 

The Isles of Shoals were drown'd and gone, 



180 CHOICE READINGS. 

Scarcely she saw the Head of the Boar 

Toss the foam from tusks of stone. 
She clasp'd her hands with a grip of pain, 
The tear on her cheek was not of rain : 
" They are lost," she mutter'd, " boat and crew! 
Lord, forgive me ! my words were true ! " 

Suddenly seaward swept the squall ; 

The low Sun smote through cloudy rack ; 
The shoals stood clear in the light, and all 

The trend of the coast lay hard and black : 
But, far and wide as eye could reach, 
No life was seen upon wave or beach ; 
The boat that went out at morning never 
Sail'd back again into Hampton River. 

O mower, lean on thy bended snath, 

Look from the meadows green and low : 
The wind of the sea is a waft of death, 

The waves are singing a song of woe ! 
By silent river, by moaning sea, 
Long and vain shall thy watching be : 
Never again shall the sweet voice call, 
Never the white hand rise and fall ! 

O Rivermouth Rocks, how sad a sight 
Ye saw in the light of breaking day ! 
Dead faces looking up cold and white 

From sand and sea-weed where they lay. 
The mad old witch-wife wail'd and wept, 
And cursed the tide as it backward crept : 
;t Crawl back, crawl back, bine water-snake ! 
Leave your dead for the hearts that break ! " 

Solemn it was in that old day 

In Hampton town and its log-built church, 
Where side by side the coffins lay 

And the mourners stood in aisle and porch : 



SONG OF THE MYSTIC. 181 

Iii the singing-seats young eyes were dim. 
The voices falter'd that raised the hymn, 
And Father Dalton, grave and stern, 
Sobb'd through his prayer and wept in turn. 

And the Sun set paled, and warai'd once more 

With a softer, tenderer after-glow ; 
In the east was moonrise with boats off-shore 

And sails in the distance drifting slow : 
The beacon glimmer'd from Portsmouth bar, 
The White Isle kindled its great red star ; 
And life and death in my old-time lay 
Mingled in peace like the night and day ! 

SONG OF THE MYSTIO. 

Father A. J. Ryan. 

I walk down the valley of silence, — 
Down the dim voiceless valley, — alone ; 

And I hear not the fall of a footstep 

Around me, — save God's and my own ; 

And the hush of my heart is as holy 
As hours when angels have flown ! 

Long ago, was I weary of voices 

Whose music my heart could not win ; 

Long ago. I was weary of noises 

That fretted my soul with their din ; 

Long ago, was I weary of places 

Where I met but the human, — and sin. 

I walk'd through the world with the worldly, 
I craved what the world never gave, 

And I said, " In the world each ideal, 
That shines like a star on life's wave, 

Is toss'd on the shore of the real. 

And sleeps like a dream in a grave." 



182 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

And still did I piue for the perfect, 

And still found the false with the true ; 

I sought not the human for Heaven, 
But caught a mere glimpse of the blue : 

And I wept when the clouds of the mortal 
Veil'd even that glimpse from my view. 

And I toil'd on, heart- tired of the human, 
And I mourn' d not the mazes of men, 

Till I knelt long ago at an altar, 

And heard a voice call me : since then 

I walk down the valley of silence 
That lies far beyond mortal ken. 

Do you ask what I found in the valley ? 

'Tis my trystiug-place with the Divine ; 
And I fell at the feet of the Holy, 

And above me a voice said " Be mine." 
Then rose from the depths of ury spirit 

An echo, " My heart shall be thine." 

Do you ask how I live in the valley? 

I weep, and I dream, and I pra}^ ; 
But my tears are as sweet as the dewdrops 

That fall on the roses of May : 
And my prayer like a perfume from censers 

Ascendeth to God night and day. 

In the hush of the valley of silence 
I dream all the songs that I sing ; 

And the music floats down the dim valley 
Till each finds a word for a wing 

That to men, like the dove of the deluge, 
The message of peace they ma}- bring. 

But far on the deep there are billows 
That never shall break on the beach, 



LUCY GRAY. 1S3 

And I have heard songs in the silence 

That never shall float into speech ; 
And I have had dreams in the valley 

Too lofty for language to reach. 

And I have seen thoughts in the valley . — 

Ah me ! how my spirit was stirr'd ! 
And they wore holy veils on their faces, 

Their footsteps can scarcely be heard ; 
They pass through the valley like virgins, 

Too pure for the touch of a word. 

Do you ask me the place of the valley, 
Ye hearts that are harrow'd by care ? 

It lieth afar between mountains, 
And God and His angels are there ; 

And one is the dark mount of sorrow, 
And one the bright mountain of prayer. 



LUCY GEAY. 

William Wordsworth. 

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray ; 
And, when I cross'd the wild, 
I chanced to see at break of day 
The solitary child. 

No mate, no comrade Lucy knew ; 
She dwelt on a wide moor, — 
The sweetest thing that ever grew 
Beside a human door ! 

You jet may spy the fawn at play 
The hare upon the green ; 
But the sweet face of Luc} T Gray 
Will never more be seen, 



184 CHOICE READINGS. 

" To-night will be a stormy night, — 
You to the town must go ; 
And take a lantern, Child, to light 
Your mother through the snow." 

" That, Father, will I gladly do : 
'Tis scarcely afternoon ; 
The minster-clock has just struck two, 
And yonder is the Moon ! " 

At this the Father raised his hook, 
And snapp'd a fagot-band ; 
He plied his work ; — and Lucy took 
The lantern in her hand. 

Not blither is the mountain roe : 
With many a wanton stroke 
Her feet disperse the powdery snow, 
That rises up like smoke. 

The storm came on before its time : 
She wander'd up and down ; 
And many a hill did Lucy climb, 
But never reach'd the town. 

The wretched parents all that night 
Went shouting far and wide; 
But there was neither sound nor sight 
To serve them for a guide. 

At day-break on a hill they stood 
That overlook'd the moor ; 
And thence they saw the bridge of wood, 
A furlong from their door. 

They wept ; and, turning homeward, cried, 
" In Heaven we all shall meet " ; 
When in the snow the mother spied 
The print of Lucy's feet. 



OUR FOLKS. 185 

Then downwards from the steep hill's edge 
They track'd the footmarks small ; 
And through the broken hawthorn hedge, 
And by the long stone-wall ; 

And then an open field they cross 'd : 
The marks were still the same ; 
They track'd them on, nor ever lost ; 
And to the bridge they came. 

The3 T follow'd from the snowy bank 
Those footmarks, one by one, 
Into the middle of the plank ; 
And further there were none ! 

Yet some maintain that to this day 
She is a living child ; 
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray 
Upon the lonesome wild. 

O'er rough and smooth she trips along, 
And never looks behind; 
And sings a solitary song 
That whistles in the wind. 



OUK FOLKS. 

Ethel Lynn. 

" Hi ! Harry Holly ! Halt j and tell 

A fellow just a thing or two : 
You've had a furlough, been to see 

How all the folks in Jersey do. 
It's months ago since I was there, — 

I, and a bullet from Fair Oaks : 
When you were home, — old comrade, say. 

Did you see any of our folks ? 



186 CHOICE READINGS. 

You did? Shake hands ; — O, ain't I glad? 

For, if I do look grim and rough, 
I've got some feelin' — 

People think 

A soldier's heart is mighty tough ; 
But, Harry, when the bullets fly, 

And hot saltpetre flames and smokes, 
While whole battalions lie afield, 

One's apt to think about his folks. 

And so you saw them, — when ? and where ? 

The old man, — is he hearty yet? 
And mother, — does she fade at all ? 

Or does she seem to pine and fret 
For me? And Sis? — has she grown tall? 

And did you see her friend, — you know 
That Annie Moss — 

(How this pipe chokes !) 
Where did you see her? — tell me, Hal, 

A lot of news about our folks. 

You saw them in the church, — yet say ; 

It's likely, for they're always there. 
Not Sunday ? no ? A funeral ? Who ? 

Who, Harry? how you shake and stare ! 
All well, you say, and all were out ; 

What ails you, Hal? Is this a hoax? 
Why don't you tell me, like a man, 

What is the matter with our folks?" 

" I said all well, old comrade, true ; 

I say all well, for He knows best 
Who takes the young ones in His arms, 

Before the Sun goes to the west. 
The axe-man Death deals right and left, 

And flowers fall as well as oaks ; 
And so — 

Fair Annie blooms no more ! 

And that's the matter with your folks . 



POOR LITTLE JOE. 187 

See, this long curl was kept for you ; 

And' this white blossom from her breast; 
And here, — your sister Bessie wrote 

A letter, telling all the rest. 
Bear up, old friend." 

Nobody speaks ; 
Only the old camp raven croaks, 

And soldiers whisper : 

4i Boys, be still ; 
There's some bad news from Grainger's folks." 

He turns his back — the only foe 
That ever saw it — on this grief. 

And. as men will, keeps down the tears 
Kind Nature sends to Woe's relief. 

Then answers he : 

'•Ah, Hal, I'll try; 
But in my throat there's something ehokes, 

Because, you see, I've thought so long- 
To count her in among our folks. 

I s'pose she must be happy now ; 

But still I will keep thinking too, 
I could have kept all trouble off, 

By being tender, kind, and true ; 
But maybe not. 

She's safe up there ; 

And when the Hand deals other strokes, 
She'll stand by Heaven's gate, I know, 

And wait to welcome in our folks." 

POOR LITTLE JOE. 

Peleg Arkwright. 

Prop yer eyes wide open Joey, 

Fur I've brought you sumpin' great. 
Apples? No, a heap sight better ! 



188 CHOICE READINGS. 

Don't you take no int'rest? Wait ! 
Flowers, Joe, — I know'cl you'd like 'em, — 

Ain't them scrumptious ? Ain't them higl 
Tears, my boy? Wot's them fur, Joey? 

There, — poor little Joe ! — don't cry ! 

I was skippin' past a winder, 

Where a bang-up lady sot, 
All amongst a lot of bashes, — 

Each one climbin' from a pot ; 
Every bush had flowers on it, — 

Pretty? Mebbe not! 0, no ! 
Wish you could a seen 'em growin', 

It was sich a stunnin' show. 

Well, I thought of 3 T ou, poor feller, 

Lyin' here so sick and weak, 
Never knowin' any comfort ; 

And I puts on lots o' cheek, 
" Missus," says I, "if you please, mum, 

Could I ax you for a rose ? 
For my little brother, missus, — 

Never seed one, I suppose." 

Then I told her all about you, — 

How I bring'cl you up, poor Joe ! 
(Lackin' women folks to do it :) 

Sich a' imp you was, }~ou know, — 
Till yer got that awful tumble, 

Jist as I had broke yer in, 
(Hard work, too,) to earn yer livin' 

Blackin' boots for honest tin. 

How that tumble crippled of you, 
So's you couldn't hyper much ! 

Joe, it hurted when I seen you 
Fur the first time with yer crutch. 

" But," I says, " he's laid up now, mum, 



POOR LITTLE JOE. 189 

'Pears to weaken every clay" : 

Joe, she up and went to euttin', — 

That's the how of this bokay. 

Sa3* ! It seems to me, ole feller, 

You is quite yerself to-night ; 
Kind o' chirk ; it's been a fortuit 

Sence yer e}'es has been so bright. 
Better? Well, I'm glad to hear it ! 

Yes, they're mighty prett} T , Joe. 
Smellin' of 'em's made you happy ? 

Well, I thought it would, 3*011 know ! 

Never see the country, did 3*011 ? 

Flowers growin' everywhere ! 
Sometime when 3 T ou're better, Joe3*, 

Mebbe I kin take 3*011 there. 
Flowers in Heaven ? 'M — I s'pose so ; 

Duuno much about it, though ; 
Ain't as fly as wot I might be 

On them topics, little Joe. 

But I've heard it hinted somewheres 

That in Heaven's golden gates 
Things is everlastin' cheerful . — 

B'lieve that's wot the Bible states. 
Likewise, there folks don't git hungry ; 

So good people, when they dies. 
Finds themselves well fix'd forever, — 

Joe, my boy, wot ails yer eyes? 

Thought they look'd a little sing'ler. 

O, no ! don't you have no fear ; 
Heaven was made fur such as 3*011 is, — 

Joe, wot makes 3*011 look so queer? 
Here, wake up ! O, don't look that way ! 

Joe ! My boy ! Hold up yer head ! 
Here's yer flowers. — you dropp'd 'em Joe3* ! — 

O m3* God, can Joe be dead? 



190 CHOICE READINGS. 



IV. 
REVERENCE, DEVOTION, ADORATION. 



CATO'S SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE 

SOUL. 

Joseph Addison. 

It must be so, — Plato, thou reason'st well ! — 

Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, 

This longing after immortality ? 

Or whence this secret dread and inward horror 

Of falliug into nought? Why shrinks the soul 

Back on herself, and startles at destruction? — 

'Tis the Divinity that stirs within us ; 

'Tis Heaven itself that points out an Hereafter, 

And intimates Eternity to man. 

Eternity ! — thou pleasing, dreadful thought ! 

Through what variety of untried being, 

Through what new scenes and changes must we pass ! 

The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me ; 

But shadows, clouds and darkness rest upon it. 

Here will I hold. If there's a Power above us, — 

And that there is, all Nature cries aloud 

Through all her works, — He must delight in virtue ; 

And that which He delights in must be happy. 

But when ? or where? This world — was made for Caesar. 

I'm weaiy of conjectures, — this must end them. 

Thus am I doubly arm'd. My death and life, 

My bane and antidote, are both before me. 

This, in a moment, brings me to an end ; 

But this informs me I shall never die ! 



TO THE SUPREME BEING. 191 

The soul, secured iu her existence, smiles 
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point. — 
The stars shall fade away, the Sun himself 
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years ; 
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth, 
Unhurt amid the war of elements. 
The wreck of matter, and the crash of worlds ! 

»o^oo — 

TO THE SUPREME BEITO. 

Michael Angelo: Translated by Wordsworth. 

The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed 

If Thou the spirit give by which I pray : 

My unassisted heart is barren clay, 

That of its native self can nothing feed : 

Of good and pious works Thou art the seed, 

That quickens only where Thou say'st it may : 

Unless Thou shew to us Thine own true way 

No man can find it ; Father, Thou must lead. 

Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into 1113' mind 

By which such virtue may in me be bred 

That in Thy holy footsteps I may tread ; 

The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind, 

That I may have the power to sing of Thee, 

And sound Thy praises everlastingly. 

Eternal Lord ! eased of a cumbrous load, 

And loosen'd from the world, I turn to Thee ; 

Shun, like a shatter' d bark, the storm, and flee 

To Thy protection for a safe abode. 

The crown of thorns, hands pierced upon the tree, 

The meek, benign, and lacerated face, 

To a sincere repentance promise grace, 

To the sad soul give hope of pardon free. 

With justice mark not Thou, O Light divine ! 

My fault, nor hear it with Thy sacred ear ; 



192 CHOICE READINGS. 

Neither put forth that wa}< Thy arm severe ; 
Wash with thy blood nry sins ; thereto incline 
More readily the more my years require 
Help, and forgiveness speedy and entire. 



A HYMN. 

S. T. Coleridge. 

My Maker ! of Thy power the trace 
In eve^ creature's form and face 

The wondering soul surveys : 
Thy wisdom, infinite above 
Seraphic thought, a Father's love 

As infinite displays ! 

From all that meets or eye or ear, 
There falls a genial holy fear 
Which, like the heavy dew of morn, 
Refreshes while it bows the heart forlorn. 

Great God, Thy works how wondrous fair ! 
Yet sinful man didst Thou declare 

The whole Earth's voice and mind : 
Lord, even as Thou all-present art, 
O, may we still with heedful heart 

Thy presence know and find ! 
Then, come what will of weal or woe, 
Joy's bosom-spring shall steady flow ; 
For, though 'tis Heaven Thyself to see, 
Where but Thy Shadow falls, Grief cannot be.! 



THE CLOSING YEAR. 193 

THE CLOSING YEAE. 

George D. Prentice. 

'Tis midnight's holy hour, and silence now 

Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er 

The still and pulseless world. Hark ! on the winds 

The bell's deep tones are swelling, — 'tis the knell 

Of the departed year. Xo funeral train 

Is sweeping past; yet, on the stream and wood, 

With melancholy light, the moon-beams rest 

Like a pale, spotless shroud ; the air is stirr'd 

As by a mourner's sigh ; and on yon cloud, 

That floats so still and placidly through heaven, 

The spirits of the seasons seem to stand. — 

Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form, 

And Winter with its aged locks, — and breathe. 

In mournful cadences that come abroad 

Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail, 

A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year, 

Gone from the Earth forever. 

'Tis a time 
For memory and for tears. Within the deep, 
Still chambers of the heart, a spectre dim. 
Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time 
Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold 
And solemn finger to the beautiful 
And holy visions that have pass'd away. 
And left no shadow of their loveliness 
On the dead waste of life. That spectre lifts 
The coffin-lid of Hope, and Joy, and Love, 
And, bending mournfully above the pale, 
Sweet forms, that slumber there, scatters dead flowers 
O'er what has pass'd to nothingness. 

The year 
Has gone, and, with it. many a glorious throng 
Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow. 
Its shadow in each heart. In its swift course, 



11)4 CHOICE READINGS. 

It waved its sceptre o'er the beautiful, — 

And they are not. It laid its pallid hand 

Upon the strong man, — and the haughty form 

Is fallen, and the flashing e} T e is dim. 

It trod the hall of revelry, where throng 'd 

The bright and joyous, — and the tearful wail 

Of stricken ones, is heard where erst the song 

And reckless shout resounded. It pass'd o'er 

The battle-plain, where sword, and spear, and shield 

Flash'd in the light of mid-day, — and the strength 

Of serried hosts is shiver'd, and the grass, 

Green from the soil of carnage, waves above 

The crush'd and moldering skeleton. It came, 

And faded like a wreath of mist at eve ; 

Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air, 

It heralded its millions to their home 

In the dim land of dreams. 

Remorseless Time ! 
Fierce spirit of the glass and scj'the ! what power 
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt 
His iron heart to pity? On, still on, 
He presses, and forever. The proud bird, 
The condor of the Andes, that can soar 
Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave 
The fury of the northern Hurricane, 
And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home, 
Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down 
To rest upon his mountain crag : but Time 
Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness, 
And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind 
His rushing pinions. 

Revolutions sweep 
O'er Earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast 
Of dreaming sorrow ; cities rise and sink 
Like bubbles on the water ; fiery isles 
Spring blazing from the Ocean, and go back 
To their mysterious caverns ; Mountains rear 



DEVOTIONAL INCITEMENTS. 195 

To heaven their bald and blacken'd cliffs, and bow 
Their tall heads to the plain ; new Empires rise. 
Gathering the strength of hoary centuries, 
And rush clown like the Alpine avalanche, 
Startling the nations ; and the very stars, 
Yon bright and burning blazonry of God, 
Glitter awhile in their eternal depths, 
And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train, 
Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away 
To darkle in the trackless void ; — yet Time, 
Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career, 
Dark, stern, all-pitiless, and pauses not 
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path, 
To sit and muse, like other conquerors, 
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought. 

DEVOTIONAL INCITEMENTS. 

William Wordsworth. 

Where will they stop, those breathing Powers, 

The Spirits of the new-born flowers ? 

They wander with the breeze, they wind 

Where'er the streams a passage find ; 

Up from their native ground they rise 

In mute aerial harmonies : 

From humble violet — modest thyme — 

Exhaled, th' essential odours climb, 

As if no space below the sky 

Their subtle flight could satisfy : 

Heaven will not tax our thoughts with pride 

If like ambition be their guide. 

Roused lry this kindliest of May-showers, 
The spirit-quickener of the flowers, 
That with moist virtue softly cleaves 
The buds, and freshens the young leaves, 
The birds pour forth their souls in notes 



196 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

Of rapture from a thousand throats, — ■ 
Here check'd b} T too impetuous haste, 
While there the music runs to waste, 
With bounty more and more enlarged, 
Till the whole air is overcharged : 
Give ear, O Man ! to their appeal, 
And thirst for no inferior zeal, 
Thou, who canst think, as well as feel. 

Mount from the Earth ; aspire ! aspire ! 
So pleads the town's cathedral quire, 
In strains that from their solemn height 
Sink, to attain a loftier flight ; 
While incense from the altar breathes 
Rich fragrance in embodied wreaths ; 
Or, flung from swinging censer, shrouds 
The taper-lights, and curls in clouds 
Around angelic Forms, the still 
Creation of the painter's skill, 
That on the service wait conceal' d 
One moment, and the next reveal'd. — 
Cast off your bonds, awake, arise, 
And for no transient ecstasies ! 
What else can mean the visual plea 
Of still or moving imagery, — 
The iterated summons loud, 
Not wasted on th' attendant crowd, 
Nor wholly lost upon the throng 
Hurrying the busy streets along? 

Yet evermore, through years renew'd 
In undisturbed vicissitude 
Of seasons balancing their flight 
On the swift wings of day and night, 
Kind Nature keeps a heaven]} 7 door 
Wide open for the scatter'd Poor. 
Where flower-breathed incense to the skies 
Is wafted in mute harmonies ; 
And ground fresh-cloven by the plough 



THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE. 197 

Is fragrant with a humbler vow ; 
Where birds and brooks from leafy dells 
Chime forth unwearied canticles, 
And vapours magnify and spread 
The glory of the Sun's bright head, — 
Still constant in her worship, still 
Conforming to th' eternal Will, 
Whether men sow or reap the fields, 
Divine monition Nature 3 T ields, 
That not by bread alone we live, 
Or what a hand of flesh can give ; 
That every day should le,ave some part 
Free for a sabbath of the heart : 
So shall the seventh be truly blest, 
From morn to eve, with hallow'd rest. 

THE ItfSPIKATIOtf OP THE BIBLE. 

Edward Winthrop. 

Such is the intrinsic excellence of Christianity that 
it is adapted to the wants of all, and it provides for all, 
not only by its precepts and by its doctrines, but also 
by its evidence. 

The poor man may know nothing of history, or 
science, or philosophy ; he ma} T have read scarcely any 
book but the Bible ; he may be totally unable to van- 
quish the skeptic in the arena of public debate ; but he 
is, nevertheless, surrounded hj a panoply which the 
shafts of infidelity can never pierce. 

You may go to the home of the poor cottager, whose 
heart is deeply imbued with the spirit of vital Chris- 
tianity , you may see him gather his little family around 
him. He expounds to them the wholesome doctrines 
and principles of the Bible, and, if they want to know 
the evidence upon which he rests his faith of the divine 



196 CHOICE READINGS. 

Of rapture from a thousand throats, — 
Here check'd by too impetuous haste, 
While there the music runs to waste, 
With bounty more and more enlarged, 
Till the whole air is overcharged : 
Give ear, O Man ! to their appeal, 
And thirst for no inferior zeal, 
Thou, who canst think, as well as feel. 

Mount from the Earth ; aspire ! aspire ! 
So pleads the town's cathedral quire, 
In strains that from their solemn height 
Sink, to attain a loftier flight ; 
While incense from the altar breathes 
Rich fragrance in embodied wreaths ; 
Or, flung from swinging censer, shrouds 
The taper-lights, and curls in clouds 
Around angelic Forms, the still 
Creation of the painter's skill, 
That on the service wait conceal' d 
One moment, and the next reveal'd. — 
Cast off your bonds, awake, arise, 
And for no transient ecstasies ! 
What else can mean the visual plea 
Of still or moving imagery, — 
The iterated summons loud, 
Not wasted on th' attendant crowd, 
Nor wholly lost upon the throng- 
Hurrying the busy streets along? 

Yet evermore, through years renew'd 
In undisturbed vicissitude 
Of seasons balancing their flight 
On the swift wings of day and night, 
Kind Nature keeps a heavenly door 
Wide open for the scatter'd Poor. 
Where flower-breathed incense to the skies 
Is wafted in mute harmonies ; 
And ground fresh-cloven b}* the plough 



THE INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE. 197 

Is fragrant with a humbler vow ; 
Where birds and brooks from leafy dells 
Chime forth unwearied canticles, 
And vapours magnify and spread 
The glory of the Sun's bright head, — 
Still constant in her worship, still 
Conforming to th' eternal Will, 
Whether men sow or reap the fields, 
Divine monition Nature juelds, 
That not by bread alone we live, 
Or wdiat a hand of flesh can give; 
That every clay should le^ave some part 
Free for a sabbath of the heart : 
So shall the seventh be truly blest, 
From morn to eve, with hallow'd rest. 

THE INSPIKATION OP THE BIBLE. 

Edward Winthrop. 

Such is the intrinsic excellence of Christianity that 
it is adapted to the wants of all, and it provides for all, 
not only by its precepts and by its doctrines, but also 
by its evidence. 

The poor man may know nothing of history, or 
science, or philosophy ; he may have read scarcely any 
book but the Bible ; he may be totally unable to van- 
quish the skeptic in the arena of public debate ; but he 
is, nevertheless, surrounded by a panoply which the 
shafts of infidelity can never pierce. 

You may go to the home of the poor cottager, whose 
heart is deeply imbued with the spirit of vital Chris- 
tianity , you may see him gather his little family around 
him. He expounds to them the wholesome doctrines 
and principles of the Bible, and, if the}^ want to know 
the evidence upon which he rests his faith of the divine 



198 CHOICE READINGS. 

origin of his religion, he can tell them upon reading the 
book which teaches Christianity he finds not only a 
perfectly true description of his own natural character, 
but in the provisions of this religion a perfect adaptation 
to all his needs. 

It is a religion by which to live, a religion by which 
to die ; a religion which cheers in darkness, relieves in 
perplexity, supports in adversity, keeps steadfast in 
prosperity, and guides the inquirer to that blessed land 
where " the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary 
are at rest." % 

We entreat you, therefore, to give the Bible a wel- 
come, a cordial reception ; obey its precepts, trust its 
promises, and rely implicitly upon that Divine Redeemer 
whose religion brings glory to God in the highest, and 
on Earth peace and good-will to men. 

Thus will you fulfill the noble end of your existence, 
and the great God of the Universe will be your father 
and your friend ; and, when the last mighty convulsion 
shall shake the earth and the sea and the sky, and the 
fragments of a thousand barks, richly freighted with 
intellect and learning, are scattered on the shores of 
error and delusion, your vessel shall in safety outride 
the storm, and enter in triumph the haven of eternal 
rest. 

BREAK, BREAK, BREAK. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

Break, break, break, 

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea I 
And I would that my tongue could utter 

The thoughts that arise in me. 



GOD. 199 

O, well for the fisherman's boy, 

That he shouts with his sister at play ! 

0, well for the sailor-lad, 

That he sings in his boat on the bay ! 

' And the stately ships go on 

To their haven under the hill ; 
But, O, for the touch of a vanish' d hand, 
And the sound of a voice that is still ! 

Break, break, break, 

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea ! 
But the tender grace of a day that is dead 

Will never come back to me. 

GOD. 

Derzhavin. 

O thou eternal One, whose presence bright 

All space doth occupy, all motion guide ; 
Unchanged through time's all-devastating flight ! 

Thou only God, — there is no Gocl beside ! 
Being above all beings ! mighty One, 

Whom none can comprehend and none explore ; 
Who fill'st existence with Thyself alone, 

Embracing all, supporting, ruling o'er ; 

Being whom we call God, and know no more ! 

In its sublime research philosophy 

Ma}' measure out the ocean deep, may count 
The sands or the Sun's rays ; but, God ! for Thee 

There is no weight nor measure ; none can mount 
Up to Thy mysteries ; Reason's brightest spark, 

Though kindled by Thy light, in vain would try 
To trace Thy counsels, infinite and dark ; 

And thought is lost ere thought can soar so high, 

Even like past moments in eternit}'. 



200 CHOICE READINGS. 

Thou from primeval nothingness didst call 

First chaos, then existence ; Lord, on Thee 
Eternity hath its foundation ; all 

Sprung forth from Thee, — of light, joy, harmony, 
Sole origin, — all life, all beauty Thine ; 

Thy word created all, and doth create ; 
Thy splendour fills all space with rays divine; 

Thou art and wert and shalt be ! Glorious ! Great ! 

Light-giving, life-sustaining Potentate ! 

Thy chains th' unmeasured universe surround, — 

Upheld by Thee, by Thee inspired with breath ! 
Thou the beginning with the end hast bound, 

And beautifully mingled life and death ! 
As sparks mount upward from the fiery blaze, 

So suns are born, so worlds spring forth from Thee ; 
And, as the spangles in the sunny rays 

Shine round the silver snow, the pageantry 
Of heaven's bright army glitters in Thy praise. 

A million torches, lighted by Thy hand, 

Wander unwearied through the blue abyss ; 
The}' own Thy power, accomplish Thy command, 

All gay with life, all eloquent with bliss. 
What shall we call them ? Piles of crystal light, — 

A glorious company of golden streams, — 
Lamps of celestial ether burning bright, — 

Suns lighting systems with their joyous beams? 
But Thou to these art as the noon to night. 

Yes, as a drop of water in the sea, 

All this magnificence in Thee is lost : 
What are ten thousand worlds compared to Thee ? 

And what am I then? Heaven's unnumber'd host, 
Though multiplied by myriads, and array'd 

In all the glory of sublimest thought, 
Is but an atom in the balance, weigh' d 



god. 20: 

Against Thy greatness, — is a cipher brought 
Against infinity ! What am I then ? Nought ! 

Nought ! but the effluence of Thy light divine. 

Pervading worlds, hath reach' d my bosom too ; 
Yes, in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine 

As shines the sunbeam in a drop of dew. 
Nought ! but I live, and on hope's pinions fry 

Eager toward Thy presence ; for in Thee 
I live and breathe and dwell ; aspiring high, 

Even to the throne of Thy divinity. 

I am, O God ! and surely Thou must be. 

Thou art — directing, guiding all — Thou art ! 

Direct my understanding then to Thee ; 
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart ; 

Though but an atom 'midst immensity. 
Still I am something, fashion'd by Thy hand : 

I hold a middle rank 'twixt Heaven and Earth, 
On the last verge of mortal being stand, 

Clo>;e to the realms where angels have their birth, 
Just on the boundaries of the spirit-land ! 

The chain of being is complete in me, 

In me is matter's last gradation lost, 
And the next step is spirit, — ■ Deity ! 

I can command the lightning, and am dust ! 
A monarch and a slave, a worm, a god ! 

Whence came I here, and how? so marvellously 
Constructed and conceived ? unknown ! this clod 

Lives surely through some higher energy ; 

For from itself alone it could not be ! 

Creator, yes : Thy wisdom and thy word 
Created me ; Thou source of life and good : 

Thou spirit of my spirit, and my Lord, 

Thy light. Thy love, in their bright plenitude 

Fill'd me with an immortal soul, to spring 



202 CHOICE READINGS. 

Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear 
The garments of eternal day, and wing 

Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere, 
Even to its source — to Thee — its Author there. 

O thoughts ineffable ! O visions blest ! 

Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee, 
Yet shall Thy shadow' d image fill our breast, 

And waft its homage to Thy Deity. 
God ! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar, 

Thus seek Tlry presence, — Being wise and good ! 
'Midst Thy vast works admire, obe}-, adore; 

And when the tongue is eloquent no more 

The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude. 

GOD'S FIRST TEMPLES. 

W. C. Bryant. 

The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learn' d 

To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, 

And spread the roof above them, ere he framed 

The lofty vault, to gather and roll back 

The sound of anthems, in the darkling wood, 

Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down 

And offer' d to the Mightiest solemn thanks 

And supplication. For his simple heart 

Might not resist the sacred influences 

That, from the stilly twilight of the place, 

And from the gray old trunks, that, high in heaven, 

Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound 

Of the invisible breath, that sway'd at once 

All their green tops, stole over him, and bow'd 

His spirit with the thought of boundless Power 

And inaccessible Majesty. Ah, why 

Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect 

God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore 



god's first temples. 203 

Only among the crowd, and under roofs 

That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least, 

Here, in the shadow of the ancient wood, 

Offer one hymn ; thrice happy, if it find 

Acceptance in His ear. 

Father, thy hand 
Hath reared these venerable columns : Thou 
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down 
Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose 
All these fair ranks of trees. They in Thy sun 
Budded, and shook their green leaves in Thy breeze, 
And shot toward heaven. The century-living crow, 
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died 
Among their branches, till at last they stood, 
As now they stand, massy and tall and dark, 
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold 
Communion with his Maker. 

Here are seen 
No traces of man's pomp or pride ; no silks 
Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes 
Encounter ; no fantastic carvings show 
The boast of our vain race to change the form 
Of Thy fair works. But Thou art here ; Thou filFst 
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds 
That run along the summits of these trees 
In music ; Thou art in the cooler breath, 
That, from the inmost darkness of the place, 
Comes, scarcely felt ; the barky trunks, the ground, 
The fresh, moist ground, are all instinct with Thee. 

Here is continual worship ; Nature here, 
In the tranquillity that Thou dost love, 
Enjo} T s Thy presence. Noiselessly around, 
From perch to perch the solitary bird 
Passes ; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs, 
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots 
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale 
Of all the orood it does. 



206 CHOICE READINGS. 

THE PEIMEOSE OF THE BOOK. 

William Wordsworth. 

A Rock there is whose homely front 
The passing traveller slights ; 

Yet there the glow-worms hang their lamps, 
Like stars, at various heights ; 

And one coy Primrose to that Rock 
The vernal breeze invites. 

What hideous warfare hath been raged, 
What kingdoms overthrown, 

Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft 
And mark'd it for my own ; 

A lasting link in Nature's chain 
From highest Heaven let down ! 

The flowers, still faithful to the stems, 

Their fellowship renew ; 
The stems are faithful to the root, 

That worketh out of view ; 
And to the rock the root adheres, 

In every fibre true. 

Close clings to earth the living rock, 
Though threatening still to fall ; 

The Earth is constant in her sphere ; 
And God upholds them all : 

So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads 
Her annual funeral. 



Here closed the meditative strain ; 

But air breathed soft that day, 
The hoary mountain-heights were cheer'd, 

The sunny vale look'd gay ; 
And to the Primrose of the Rock 

I gave this after-lay. 



THE PRIMROSE OF THE ROCK. '_' 7 

I sang, — Let myriads of bright flowers, 

Like thee, in field and grove 
Revive unenvied ; — mightier far 

Than tremblings, that reprove 
Our vernal tendencies to hope. 

Is God's redeeming Love : — 

That love which changed — for wan disease, 

For s : : : : w that had bent 
O'er hopeless dust, for wither d age — 

Their moral element. 
And turn'd the thistles of a curse 

To types beneficent. 

Sin-blighted though we are. we too, 

The reasoning Sons of Men. 
From one oblivions winter ealTd 

Shall rise, and breathe again ; 
And in eternal summer lose 

Our threescore year? and ten. 

To humbleness : heart descends 

Thi- prescience from on high. 
The faith that elevates the just. 

Before and when they 
And makes each soul a separate heaven. 

A court for Deitv. 



208 CHOICE READINGS. 



V. 
GRAND, BOLD, SUBLIME. 



AP0STK0PHE TO THE OCEAN. 

Lord Byron. 

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, 
There is a rapture on the lonely shore, 
There is society, where none intrudes, 
By the deep sea, and music in its roar : 
I love not man the less, but Nature more, 
From these our interviews, in which I steal 
From all I may be, or have been before, 
To mingle with the universe, and feel 
tylhat I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal. 

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean, roll ! 
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain ; 
Man marks the earth with ruin, — his control 
Stops with the shore : upon the watery plain, 
The wrecks are all thy deed, nor doth remain 
A shadow of man's ravage, save his own, 
When for a moment, like a drop of rain, 
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan, 
Without a grave, unknell'd, uncofhn'd, and unknow 

The armaments, which thunderstrike the walls 
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, 
And monarchs tremble in their capitals ; 
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make 
Their clay creator the vain title take 



APOSTROPHE TO THE OCEAN. 209 

Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war; 
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, 
They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar 
Alike th' Armada's pride or spoils of Trafalgar. 

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee : 
Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, — what are they? 
Th}' waters wasted them while they were free, 
And many a tyrant since ; their shores obey 
The stranger, slave, or savage ; their decay 
Has dried up realms to deserts : not so thou ; 
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play, 
Time writes no wrinkles on thine azure brow ; 
Such as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now. 

Thou glorious mirror, where th' Almighty's form 
Glasses itself in tempests • in all time, 
Calm or convulsed, — in breeze, or gale, or storm, 
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime 
Dark heaving ; — boundless, endless, and sublime, — 
The image of Eternit}', — the throne 
Of the Invisible ; even from out thy slime 
The monsters of the deep are made ; each zone 
Obe}'S thee : thou go'st forth, dread, fathomless, alone. 

And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my joy 
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be 
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward : from a boy 
I wanton'd with thy breakers, — they to me 
Were a delight ; and, if the freshening sea 
Made them a terror, 'twas a pleasing fear ; 
For I was, as it were, a child of thee, 
And trusted to thy billows far and near, 
And laid nry hand upon thy mane, — as I do here. 



210 CHOICE READINGS. 

HYMN TO THE NIGHT. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

I heard the trailing garments of the Night 
Sweep through her marble halls ! 

I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light 
From the celestial walls ! 

I felt her presence, b}' its spell of might, 

Stoop o'er me from above ; 
The calm, majestic presence of the Night, 

As of the one I love. 

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight, 

The manifold, soft chimes, 
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night, 

Like some old poet's rhymes. 

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air 

My spirit drank repose ; 
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, — 

From those deep cisterns flows. 

O holy Night ! from thee I learn to bear 

What man lias borne before ! 
Thou lay'st thy finger on the lips of Care, 

And they complain no more. 

Peace ! Peace ! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer 
Descend with broad-winged flight, 

The welcome, the thrice-pray'd for, the most fair, 
The best-beloved Night ! 

A VISION OP MIST-SPLENDOURS. 

William Wordsworth. 

A single step, that freed me from the skirts 
Of the blind vapour, open'd to my view 



A VISION OF MIST-SPLENDOURS. 211 

Glory beyond all glory ever seen 

By waking sense or b}' the dreaming soul ! 

Th' appearance, instantaneously disclosed, 

Was of a mighty city, — boldly say 

A wilderness of building, sinking far 

And self-withdrawn into a boundless depth, 

Far sinking into splendour, — without end ! 

Fabric it seem'd of diamond and of gold, 

With alabaster domes, and silver spires, 

And blazing terrace upon terrace, high 

Uplifted ; here, serene pavilions bright, 

In avenues disposed ; there, towers begirt 

With battlements that on their restless fronts 

Bore stars, — illumination of all gems ! 

By earthly nature had th' effect been wrought 

Upon the dark materials of the storm 

Now pacified ; on them, and on the coves 

And mountain-steeps and summits, whereunto 

The vapours had receded, taking there 

Their station under a cerulean sky. 

O, 'twas an unimaginable sight ! 

Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks and emerald turf, 

Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky, 

Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed, 

Molten together, and composing thus, 

Each lost in each, that marvellous array 

Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge 

Fantastic pomp of structure without name, 

In fleecy folds voluminous, enwrapp'd. 

Right in the midst, where interspace appear'd 

Of open court, an object like a throne 

Under a shining canopy of state 

Stood fix'd ; and fix'd resemblances were seen 

To implements of ordinary use, 

But vast in size, in substance glorified ; 

Such as by Hebrew Prophets were beheld 

In vision, — forms uncouth of mightiest power 



212 CHOICE READINGS. 

For admiration and mysterious awe. 
This little Vale, a dwelling-place of Man, 
Lay low beneath nry feet ; 'twas visible, — 
I saw not, but I felt that it was there. 
That which I saw was the reveal'd abode 
Of Spirits in beatitude. 

HYMN TO MONT BLANC. 

S. T. Coleridge. 

Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star 

In his steep course ? — so long he seems to pause 

On thy bald awful head, O sovereign Blanc ! 

The Arve and Arveiron at thy base 

Rave ceaselessly ; but thou, most awful Form, 

Risest from forth th} T silent sea of pines, 

How silently ! Around thee and above 

Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, 

An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it, 

As with a wedge ! But, when I look again, 

It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, 

Thy habitation from eternity. 

dread and silent Mount ! I gazed upon thee, 
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, 

Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer, 

1 worshipp'd the Invisible alone. 

Yet. like some sweet beguiling melody, 
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it, 
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with 1113' thought, 
Yea, with my life and life's own secret joy ; 
Till the dilating Soul — enrapt, transfused, 
Into the mighty Vision passing — there, 
As in her natural form, swell'd vast to Heaven ! 

Awake, my soul ! not only passive praise 
Thou owest ; not alone these swelling tears, 



HYMN TO MONT BLANC. 213 

Mute thanks, and secret ecstasy. Awake, 
Voice of sweet song ! Awake, my heart, awake ! 
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn ! 

Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of the Vale ! 
O, struggling with the darkness all the night, 
And visited all night by troops of stars, 
Or when the}* climb the sky or when the}* sink ; 
Companion of the morning-star at dawn, 
Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn 
Co-herald ; wake, O, wake, and utter praise ! 
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth ? 
"Who fill'd thy countenance with rosy light? 
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ? 

And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad ! 
Who call'd you forth from night and utter death, 
From dark and icy caverns call'd you forth, 
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks, 
For ever shatter'd and the same for ever? 
Who gave you your invulnerable life, 
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy, 
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ? 
And who commanded, (and the silence came,) 
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest? 

Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow 
Adown enormous ravines slope amain, — 
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty Voice, 
And stopp'd at once amid their maddest plunge ! 
Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts ! 
Who made you glorious as the gates of Heaven 
Beneath the keen full Moon ? Who bade the Sun 
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers 
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet? — 
God ! let the torrents, like a shout of nations, 
Answer ! and let the ice-plains echo, God ! 
God ! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice ! 



214 CHOICE READINGS. 

Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds ! 
And they too have a voice, yon piles. of snow, 
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God ! 

Ye living flowers that skirt th' eternal frost ; 
Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest ; 
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storm ; 
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds ; 
Ye signs and wonders of the element, — 
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise ! 

Thou too, hoar Mount, with thy sky-pointing peaks, 
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard. 
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene 
Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast, — 
Thou too again, stupendous Mountain ! thou 
That, as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low 
In adoration, upward from thy base 
Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears, 
Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud, 
To rise before me, — rise, O, ever rise, 
Rise like a cloud of incense, from the Earth ! 
Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, 
Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Heaven, 
Great hierarch ! tell thou the silent Sky, 
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising Sun, 
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God. 

MAEOO BOZZAKIS. 

Fitz Greene Halleck. 

At midnight, in his guarded tent, 
The Turk was dreaming of the hour 

When Greece, her knee in suppliance bent, 
Should tremble at his power ; 

In dreams, through camp and court he bore 

The trophies of a conqueror ; 



VAR fO BOZZAJ5I5. 215 

In dreams, his song of triumph heard : 
Then wore his monarch's signet ric g ; 
Then pressed that monarch's throne — a king : 
As wild his thoughts, and gay of wing. 

A - E len'fi garden bird. 

At midnight, in the forest shao.r-. 

Bozzaris ranged his Suliote band. 
True as the steel of their tried blaiir-. 

Heroes in heart and hand. 
There had the Persian's thousands stood, 
There had the glad earth drunk their blood. 

On old Plataea's day : 
And now there breathed that haunted air 
The sons of sires who conquer d there, 
With arm to strike, and soul to dare. 

A? pack, as far, as :hey. 

An hour passM on : the Turk awoke : 

That bright dream was his last. 
He woke to hear his sentries shriek. 

ms they come ! the Greek ! the Greek 
He woke, to die 'midst flame and smoke. 
And shout, and groan, and sabre-stroke. 

And death-shots falling thick and fast 
As lightnings from the mountain cloud. 
And heard, with voice as trumpet loud. 

Bozzaris cheer his band : 

^rrike ! — till the last arm'd foe expir— 
Strike ! — for your altars and your fires 
Strike ! — for the green graves : youi sires ; 

God. and your native Ian I 

They fought like brave men, long and well ; 

They piled that ground with Moslem slain ; 
They conquered : — but Bozzaris fell. 

Bleeding at every vein. 



216 CHOICE READINGS. 

His few surviving comrades saw 

His smile when rang their loud hurrah, 

And the red field was won ; 
Then saw in death his eyelids close, 
Calmly as to a night's repose, — 

Like flowers at set of Sun. 

Come to the bridal chamber, Death ! 

Come to the mother's, when she feels, 
For the first time, her first-born's breath ; 

Come when the blessed seals 
That close the pestilence are broke, 
And crowded cities wail its stroke ; 
Come in consumption's ghastly form, 
The earthquake shock, the ocean storm ; 
Come when the heart beats high and warm 

With banquet song and dance and wine ; 
And thou art terrible : — the tear, 
The groan, the knell, the pall, the bier, 
And all we know, or dream, or fear, 

Of agony, are thine. 

But to the hero, when his sword 

Has won the battle for the free, 
Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word, 
And in its hollow tones are heard 

The thanks of millions yet to be. 
Come when his task of fame is wrought ; 
Come, with her laurel-leaf, blood-bought ; 

Come in her crowning hour, — and then 
Thy sunken eye's unearthly light, 
To him is welcome as the sight 

Of sky and stars to prison 5 d men ; 
Thy grasp is welcome as the hand 
Of brother in a foreign land ; 
Thy summons welcome as the cry 
That told the Indian isles were nigh 



MARCO BOZZARIS. 217 

To the world-seeking Genoese, 
When the land-wind, from woods of palm, 
And orange-groves, and fields of balm, 

Blew o'er the Haytien seas. 

Bozzaris ! with the storied brave 

Greece nurtured in her glory's time, 
Rest thee : there is no prouder grave, 

Even in her own proud clime. 
She wore no funeral weeds for thee, 

Nor bade the dark hearse wave its plume, 
Like torn branch from death's leafless tree, 
In sorrow's pomp and pageantry, 

The heartless luxury of the tomb ; 
But she remembers thee as one 
Long loved, and for a season gone ; 
For thee her poet's lyre is wreathed, 
Her marble wrought, her music breathed ; 
For thee she rings the birthday bells ; 
Of thee her babes' first lisping tells ; 
For thine her evening prayer is said, 
At palace couch and cottage bed : 
Her soldier, closing with the foe, 
Gives for thy sake a deadlier blow ; 
His plighted maiden, when she fears 
For him, the joy of her young years, 
Thinks of thy fate, and checks her tears : 

And she, the mother of thy boys, 
Though in her eye and faded cheek 
Is read the grief she will not speak, 

The memory of her buried joj^s, — 
And even she who gave thee birth 
Will, by their pilgrim-circled hearth, 

-Talk of thy doom without a sigh ; 
For thou art Freedom's now, and Fame's, 
One of the few, th' immortal names 

That were not born to die. 



218 CHOICE READINGS. 

THE LAUNCHING OP THE SHIP. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

"Build me straight, worthy Master! 

Staunch and strong, a goodly vessel, 
That shall laugh at all disaster, 

And with wave and whirlwind wrestle ! ' ' 

The merchant's word, 

Delighted, the Master heard ; 

For his heart was in his work, and the heart 

Griveth grace unto every art : 

And, with a voice that was full of glee, 

He answer'd, tk Ere long we will launch 

A vessel as goodly and strong and staunch 

As ever weather'd a wintry sea ! " 

All is finish'd ! and at length 

Has come the bridal day 

Of beauty and of strength : 

To-day the vessel shall be launch'd ! 

With fleecy clouds the sky is blanch'd; 

And o'er the bay, 

Slowly, in all his splendours dight, 

The great Sun rises to behold the sight. 

The ocean old, 

Centuries old, 

Strong as youth, as uncontroU'd, 

Paces restless to and fro, 

Up and down the sands of gold. 

His beating heart is not at rest ; 

And far and wide, 

With ceaseless flow, 

His beard of snow 

Heaves with the heaving of his breast : 

He waits impatient for his bride. 



THE LAUNCHING OF THE SHIP. 219 

There she stands, 

With her foot upon the sands, 

Deck'd with flags and streamers gay, 

In honour of her marriage-day, 

Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending, 

Round her like a veil descending, 

Ready to be 

The bride of the gray old sea. 

Then the Master, 

With a gesture of command, 

Waved his hand ; 

And at the word 

Loud and sudden there was heard, 

All around them and below, 

The sound of hammers, blow on blow, 

Knocking away the shores and spurs : 

And see ! she stirs ! 

She starts, — she moves, — she seems to feel 

The thrill of life along her keel, 

And, spurning with her feet the ground, 

With one exulting, joyous bound, 

She leaps into the ocean's arms ! 

And, lo ! from the assembled crowd 

There rose a shout, prolong'd aud loud, 

That to the ocean seem'd to say, 

ct Take her, O bridegroom, old and gray ; 

Take her to thy protecting arms, 

With all her youth and all her charms! " 

How beautiful she is ! how fair 

She lies within those arms that press 

Her form with many a soft caress 

Of tenderness and watchful care ! 

Sail forth into the sea, O ship ! 

Through wind and wave, right onward steer ! 



220 CHOICE READINGS. 

The moisten'd eye, the trembling lip, 
Are not the signs of doubt or fear. 

Thou, too, sail on, Ship of State ! 
Sail on, O Union, strong and great ! 
Humanity, with all its fears, 
With all the hopes of future years, 
Is hanging breathless on thy fate ! 
We know what Master laid thy keel, 
What Workmen wrought thy ribs of steel, 
Who made each mast and sail and rope, 
What anvils rang, what hammers beat, 
In what a forge, and what a heat, 
Were shaped the anchors of thy hope ! 

Fear not each sudden sound and shock ; 

'Tis of the wave, and not the rock ; 

'Tis but the flapping of the sail, 

And not a rent made by the gale i 

In spite of rock and tempest's roar, 

In spite of false lights on the shore, 

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea ! 

Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee ; 

Our hearts, our hopes, our pra}*ers, our tears, 

Our faith triumphant o'er our fears, 

Are all with thee, — are all with thee ! 



:£@4< 



ODE TO APOLLO. 

John Keats. 

In thy western halls of gold 

When thou sittest in thy state, 

Bards, that erst sublimely told 

Heroic deeds, and sang of fate, 
With fervour seize their adamantine lyres, 
Whose chords are solid rays, and twinkle radiant fires. 



ODE TO APOLLO 221 

Here Homer with his nervous arms 

Strikes the twanging harp of war ; 

And even the western splendour warms, 

While the trumpets sound afar : 
But, what creates the most intense surprise, 
His soul looks out through renovated eyes. 

Then, through thy temple wide, melodious swells 
The sweet majestic tones of Maro's lyre : 
The soul delighted on each accent dwells, — 
Enraptured dwells, — not daring to respire, 
The while he tells of grief around a funeral pyre. 

'Tis awful silence then again ; 

Expectant stand the spheres ; 

Breathless the laurell'd peers, 

Nor move, till ends the loft}' strain, — 
Nor move, till Milton's tuneful thunders cease, 
And leave once more the ravish'd heavens in peace. 

Thou biddest Shakespeare wave his hand, 

And quickly forward spring 

The Passions, — a terrific band, — 

And each vibrates the string 
That with its tyrant temper best accords, 
While from their Master's lips pour forth th' inspiring words. 

A silver trumpet Spenser blows, 

And. as its martial notes to silence flee, 

From a virgin chorus flows 

A hymn in praise of spotless Chastity. 
'Tis still ! Wild warblings from th' JEolian lyre 
Enchantment softly breathe, and tremblingly expire. 

Next Tasso's ardent numbers 
Float along the pleased air, 
Calling youth from idle slumbers, 
Rousing them from Pleasure's lair : 



222 CHOICE READINGS. 

Then o'er the strings his fingers gently move, 
And melt the heart to pity and to love. 

But, when Thou joinest with the Nine, 
And all the powers of song combine, 

We listen here on Earth : 
The dying tones that fill the air, 
And charm the ear of evening fair, 
From thee, great God of Bards, receive their heavenly birth. 



*o>«K<x> 

ST. PETEE'S OHUKOH AT EOME. 

Lord Byron. 

But lo ! the dome, — the vast and wondrous dome, 
To which Diana's marvel was a cell, — 
Christ's mighty shrine above His martyr's tomb ! 
I have beheld th' Ephesian miracle, — 
Its columns strew the wilderness, and dwell 
Th' hyaena and the jackal in their shade : 
I have beheld Sophia's bright roofs swell 
Their glittering mass i' the sun, and have survey'd 
Its sanctuary the while th' usurping Moslem pray'd : 

But thou, of temples old, or altars new, 
Standest alone, — with nothing like to thee, — 
Worthiest of God, the holy and the true. 
Since Zion's desolation, when that He 
Forsook His former city, what could be, 
Of earthly structures in His honour piled, 
Of a sublimer aspect? Majesty, 
Power, Glory, Strength, and Beauty, all are aisled 
In this eternal ark of worship undefiled. 

Enter : its grandeur overwhelms thee not ; 
And why? it is not lessen'd ; but thy mind, 
Expanded by the genius of the spot, 
Has grown colossal, and can only find 



st. peter's church at rome. 223 

A fit abode wherein appear enshrined 
Thy hopes of immortality ; and thou 
Shalt one day, if found worthy, so defined, 
See th}' God face to face, as thou dost now 
His Holy of Holies, nor be blasted by His brow. 

Thou movest, but increasing with th' advance, 
Like climbing some great Alp, which still doth rise, 
Deceived by its gigantic elegance ; 
Vastness which grows, but grows to harmonize, 
All musical in its immensities ; 
Rich marbles, richer paintings, shrines where flame 
The lamps of gold, the haughty dome which vies 
In air with Earth's chief structures, though their frame 
Sits on the firm-set ground, and this the cloud must claim. 

Thou seest not all ; but piecemeal thou must break. 
To separate contemplation, the great whole ; 
And as the ocean many ba}~s will make, 
That ask the eye, so here condense thy soul 
To more immediate objects, and control 
Thy thoughts, until thy mind hath got by heart 
Its eloquent proportions, and unroll 
In mighty graduations, part by part, 
The glory which at once upon thee did not dart, — 

Not by its fault, but thine. Our outward sense 
Is but of gradual grasp ; and as it is 
That what we have of feeling most intense 
Outstrips our faint expression ; even so this 
Outshining and o'erwhelming edifice 
Fools our fond gaze, and, greatest of the great, 
Defies at first our nature's littleness, 
Till, growing with its growth, we thus dilate 
Our spirits to the size of that they contemplate. 



224 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

GOD IN tfATUKE. 

William Wordsworth. 

And what are things eternal ? — Powers depart, 
Possessions vanish, and opinions change, 
And passions hold a fluctuating seat : 
But, by the storms of circumstance unshaken, 
And subject neither to eclipse nor wane, 
Duty exists; — immutably survive, 
For our support, the measures and the forms 
Which an abstract intelligence supplies ; 
Whose kingdom is where time and space are not. 
Of other converse which mind, soul, and heart 
Do, with united urgency, require, 

What more that may not perish? — Thou, dread source, 
Prime, self-existing cause and end of all 
That in the scale of being fill their place, 
Above our human region, or below, 
Set and sustain'd ; Thou, who didst wrap the cloud 
Of infancy around us, that Thyself, 
Therein, with our simplicity awhile 
Mightst hold, on Earth, communion undisturb'd ; 
Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep, 
Or from its death-like void, with punctual care, 
And touch as gentle as the morning light, 
Restorest us, daily, to the powers of sense 
And reason's steadfast rule, — Thou, Thou alone 
Art everlasting, and the blessed Spirits 
Which Thou includest, as the sea her waves : 
For adoration Thou endurest ; endure 
For consciousness the motions of Tlry will ; 
For apprehension those transcendent truths 
Of the pure intellect, that stand as laws 
(Submission constituting strength and power) 
Even to Thy Being's infinite majesty ! 
This Universe shall pass away, — a work 



GOD IN NATURE. 225 

Glorious, because the shadow of Thy might, 

A step, or link, for intercourse with Thee. 

Ah ! if the time must come in which my feet 

No more shall stray where meditation leads, 

By flowing stream, through wood, or craggy wild, 

Loved haunts like these ; the uniinprison'd Mind 

May yet have scope to range among her own, 

Her thoughts, her images, her high desires. 

If the dear faculty of sight should fail, 

Still it may be allow'd me to remember 

What visionary powers of eye and soul 

In youth were mine ; when, station *d on the top 

Of some huge hill, expectant, I beheld 

The Sun rise up, from distant climes return'd 

Darkness to chase, and sleep ; and bring the day, 

His bounteous gift ! or saw him toward the deep 

Sink, with a retinue of flaming clouds 

Attended : then my spirit was entranced 

With joy exalted to beatitude ; 

The measure of my soul was fill'd with bliss, 

And holiest love ; as earth, sea, air, with light, 

With pomp, with glory, with magnificence ! 



226 CHOICE READINGS. 



VI. 
PATRIOTIC, SENATORIAL, ORATORICAL. 



THE SEVEN GEEAT OEATOES 0E THE WOELD.* 
Fortune of ^Eschines. 

Demosthenes. 

For mj part, I regard any one, who reproaches his 
fellow-man with fortune, as devoid of sense. He that 
is best satisfied with his condition, he that deems his 
fortune excellent, cannot be sure that it will remain so 
until the evening : how then can it be right to bring it 
forward, or upbraid another man with it? As iEs- 
chines, however, has on this subject (besides many 
others) expressed himself with insolence, look, men of 

*We here give a representative selection from eacli of these orators. 
The following extract from the Rev. Henry N. Hudson's Discourse 
delivered in Boston on the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Daniel 
Webster will explain why we do so: "Sage and venerable Harvard, on 
mature consideration no doubt, has spoken Webster for one of the seven 
great orators of the world. At the theatre end of her Memorial Hall, 
which has the form of a semicircular polygon, in as many gablets or niches 
rising above the cornice, the seven heads, of gigantic size, stand forth to 
public view. First, of course, is Demosthenes the Greek; second, also of 
course, Cicero the Roman; third, Saint John Chrysostom, an Asiatic Greek, 
born about the middle of the fourth century; fourth, Jaques Benigne Bos- 
suet, the great French divine and author, contemporary with Louis the 
Fourteenth; fifth, William Pitt the elder, Earl of Chatham, an English- 
man; sixth, Edmund Burke, an Irishman, probably the greatest genius of 
them all, though not the greatest orator ; seventh, Daniel Webster. How 
authentic the likenesses may be, I cannot say, except in the case of Webster : 
here the likeness is true ; and, to my sense, Webster's head is the finest of 
the seven, unless that of Bossuet may be set down as its peer." 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. DEMOSTHENES. 227 

Athens, and observe how much more truth and human- 
ity there shall be in my discourse upon fortune than in 
his. 

If you are determined, iEschines, to scrutinize my 
fortune, compare it with your own ; and, if you find 
mine better than yours, cease to revile it. Look, then, 
from the very beginning. And I pray and entreat that 
I may not be condemned for bad taste. I don't think 
any person wise who insults poverty, or who prides him- 
self on having been bred in affluence : but by the slan- 
der and malice of this cruel man I am forced into such 
a discussion : which I will conduct with all the modera- 
tion that circumstances allow. 

I had the advantage, JEschines, in "my boyhood of 
going to proper schools, and having such allowance as a 
boy should have who is to do nothing mean from indi- 
gence. Arrived at man's estate, I lived suitably to my 
breeding; was choir-master, ship-commander, rate- 
payer ; backward in no acts of liberality public or 
private, but making myself useful to the commonwealth 
and to my friends. When I entered upon State affairs, 
I chose such a line of politics, that both by my country 
and many people of Greece I have been crowned many 
times , and not even you my enemies venture to say 
that the line I chose was not honourable. Such, then, 
has been the fortune of my life : T could enlarge upon 
it, but I forbear, lest what I pride myself in should give 
offence. 

But you, the man of dignity, who spit upon others, 
look what sort of fortune is yours compared with mine. 
As a boy you were reared in abject poverty, waiting 
with your father on the school, grinding the ink, spong- 
ing the benches, sweeping the room, doing the duty of 
a menial rather than a freeman's son. After you were 



228 CHOICE READINGS. 

grown up, you attended your mother's initiations, read- 
ing her books and helping in all the ceremonies: at 
night wrapping the noviciates in fawn-skin, swilling, pu- 
rifying, and scouring them with clay and bran, raising 
them after the lustration, and bidding them say, " Bad 
I have scaped, and better I have found " ; priding your- 
self that no one ever howled so lustily, — and I believe 
him ! for don't suppose that he who speaks so loud is 
not a splendid howler ! In the daytime you led your 
noble orgiasts, crowned with fennel and poplar, through 
the highways, squeezing the big-cheeked serpents, and 
lifting them over your head, and shouting and capering, 
saluted by the beldames as Leader, Conductor, Chest- 
bearer, Fan-bearer, and the like ; getting as your reward 
tarts and biscuits and rolls ; for which any man might 
Avell bless himself and his fortune ! 

When you were enrolled among your fellow-towns- 
men, — by what means I stop not to inquire, — you 
immediately selected the most honourable of employ- 
ments, that of clerk and assistant to our petty magis- 
trates. From this you were removed after a while, 
having done yourself all that you charge others with ; 
and then, sure enough, you disgraced not your antece- 
dents by your subsequent life, but, hiring yourself to 
those ranting players, as they were called, Simylus and 
Socrates, you acted third parts, collecting figs and 
grapes and olives like a fruiterer, and getting more from 
them than from the playing, in which the lives of your 
whole company were at stake : for there was an impla- 
cable and incessant war between them and the audience, 
from whom you received so many wounds, that no won- 
der you taunt as cowards people inexperienced in such 
encounters. 

But, passing over what may be imputed to poverty, 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. DEMOSTHENES. 229 

I will come to the direct charges against your character. 
You espoused such a line of politics, (when at last you 
thought of taking to them,) that, if your country pros- 
pered, you lived the life of a hare, fearing and tremb- 
ling, and ever expecting to be scourged for the crimes 
of which your conscience accused you ; though all have 
seen how bold you were during the misfortunes of the 
rest. A man who took courage at the death of a thou- 
sand citizens, — what does he deserve at the hands of the 
living? A great deal more that I could say about him 
I shall omit : for it is not all I can tell of his turpitude 
and infamy which I ought to let slip from my tongue, 
but only what is not disgraceful to myself to mention. 

Contrast now the circumstances of your life and 
mine, gently and with temper, JEschines, and then ask 
these people whose fortune they would each of them 
prefer. You taught reading, I went to school ; you 
performed initiations, I received them ; you danced in 
the chorus, I furnished it ; you were assembly-clerk, I 
was a speaker ; you acted third parts, I heard you ; you 
broke down, and I hissed ; you have worked as a states- 
man for the enemy, I for my country. I pass by the 
rest; but this very day I am on my probation for a 
crown, and am acknowledged to be innocent of all 
offence ; whilst you are already judged to be a petti- 
fogger, and the question is, whether you shall continue 
that trade or at once be silenced by not getting a fifth 
part of the votes. A happy fortune, do you see, you 
have enjoyed, that you should denounce mine as miser- 
able ! 



230 choice readings. 

Panegyric on Julius Caesar. 

Marcus Tullius Cicero. 

This day, Conscript Fathers, has brought with it an 
end to the long silence in which I have of late indulged; 
not out of any fear, but partly from sorrow, partly from 
modesty ; and at the same time it has revived in me 
my ancient habit of saying what my wishes and opin- 
ions are. For I cannot by any means pass over in 
silence such great humanity, such unprecedented and 
unheard-of clemency, such moderation in the exercise 
of supreme and universal power, such incredible and 
almost godlike wisdom. For, now that Marcus Mar- 
cellus, Conscript Fathers, has been restored to you and 
the Republic, I think that not only his voice and 
authority are preserved and restored to you and to the 
Republic, but my own also. 

For I was concerned, Conscript Fathers, and most 
exceedingly grieved, when I saw such a man as he is, 
who had espoused the same cause which I had, not 
enjoying the same good fortune as myself; nor could I 
persuade myself to think it right or fair that I should 
be going on in my usual routine, while that rival and 
imitator of my zeal, and labours, who had been a com- 
panion and comrade of mine throughout, was separated 
from me. You, therefore, Caius Caesar, have reopened 
to me my former habits of life, which were closed up, 
and have raised, as it were, a standard to all these men, 
as a sort of token to lead them to entertain hopes of 
the general welfare of the Republic. For it was seen 
by me before in many instances, and especially in my 
own, and now it is clearly understood by everybody, 
since you have granted Marcus Marcellus to the Senate 
and people of Rome, in spite of your recollection of all 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. CICERO. 231 

the injuries you have received at his hands, that you 
prefer the authority of this order and the dignity of the 
Republic to the indulgence of your own resentment 
or suspicions. 

No one is blest with such a stream of genius, no one 
is endowed with such vigour and richness of eloquence, 
either as a speaker or a writer, as to be able, I will not 
say to extol, but even plainly to relate, O Caesar, all 
your achievements. Nevertheless I assert, and with 
your leave I maintain, that in all of them you never 
gained greater and truer glory than you have acquired 
this day. I am accustomed often to keep this idea 
before my eyes, and to affirm it in conversation, that all 
the exploits of our own generals, all those of foreign 
nations and of the most powerful States, all the mighty 
deeds of the most illustrious monarchs, can be compared 
with yours neither in the magnitude of your wars, nor 
in the variety of countries which you have conquered, 
nor in the rapidity of your conquests, nor in the great 
difference of character with which your wars have been 
marked; and that those countries the most remote from 
each other could not be travelled over more rapidly by 
any one in a journey than they have been visited by 
your, I will not say journeys, but victories. 

And if I were not to admit that those actions are 
so great that scarcely any man's mind or comprehension 
is capable of doing justice to them, I should be very 
senseless. But there are other actions greater than 
those. For some people are in the habit of diaparaging 
military glory, and of denying the whole of it to the 
generals, and of giving the multitude a share of it also, 
so that it may not be the peculiar property of the com- 
manders. And no doubt, in the affairs of war, the 
valour of the troops, the advantages of situation, the 



232 CHOICE READINGS. 

assistance of allies, fleets, and supplies, have great influ- 
ence ; and a most important share in all such trans- 
actions Fortune claims for herself, as of her right ; and 
whatever has been done successfully she considers 
almost entirely as her own work. 

But in this glory, Caius Caesar, which you have just 
earned you have no partners. The whole of this, how- 
ever great it may be, — and surely it is as great as pos- 
sible, — the whole of it, I say, is your own. The centu- 
rion can claim for himself no share of that praise, neither 
can the prefect, nor the battallion, nor the squadron. 
Nay, even that very mistress of all human affairs, For- 
tune herself, cannot thrust herself into any participation 
in that glory: she yields to you? she confesses that it 
is all your own, your peculiar private desert. For rash- 
ness is never united with wisdom, nor is chance ever 
admitted to regulate affairs conducted with prudence. 

You have subdued nations savage in their barbarism, 
countless in their numbers, boundless, if we regard the 
extent of country peopled by them, and rich in every 
kind of resource; but still you were only conquering 
things the nature and condition of which were such 
that they could be overcome by force. For there is no 
strength so great that it cannot be weakened and 
broken by arms and violence. But, to subdue one's 
inclinations, to master one's angry feelings, to be mod- 
erate in the hour of victory, not merely to raise from 
the ground a prostrate adversary, eminent for noble 
birth, for genius and for virtue, but even to increase 
his previous dignity, — these are actions of such a 
nature that I do not compare the author of them to the 
most illustrious man, but consider him equal to a god. 

Therefore, O Caesar, those military glories of yours will 
be celebrated not only in our own literature and Ian- 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. — ■ CHRYSOSTOM. 233 

guage, but in those of almost all nations ; nor will any 
age ever be silent about your praises. But still, deeds 
of that sort, somehow or other, even when they are 
read, appear to be overwhelmed with the cries of the 
soldiers and the sound of the trumpets. But, when we 
hear or read of anything that has been done with clem- 
ency, with humanity, with justice, with moderation, 
and with wisdom, especially in a time of anger, Avhich 
is very adverse to prudence, and in the hour of victory, 
which is naturally insolent and haughty; with what 
ardour are we then inflamed, (even if the actions have 
not really been performed, but are only fabulous,) so as 
often to love those whom we have never seen ! But as 
for you, whom Ave behold present among us, whose 
mind and heart and countenance we at this moment see 
to be such, that you wish to preserve everything which 
the fortune of war has left to the Republic, O, with 
what praises must we extol you ! with what zeal must 
we follow you ! with what affection must we devote 
ourselves to you ! The very walls, I declare, the very 
walls of this Senate-house seem to me eager to return 
you thanks; because, in a short time, you will have 
restored their ancient authority to this venerable abode 
of themselves and of their ancestors. 



Divine Providence in Nature. 

Saint John Chrysostom. 

Dost thou not perceive how this body wastes away, 
withers, and perishes on the flight of the soul, and each 
of the elements thereof returns to its own proper abode ? 
This very same thing, indeed, would also happen to the 
world, if the Power which always governs it had left it 
devoid of its own providence. For, if a ship does not 



234 CHOICE READINGS. 

hold on its way without a pilot, but soon founders, how 
could the world have subsisted so long a time with no 
one to govern its course ? And, that I may not enlarge, 
suppose the world to be a ship ; the earth to be placed 
below as the keel ; the skj to be the sail ; men to be 
the passengers ; the subjacent abj^ss, the sea. Hoav is 
it, then, that, during so long a time, no shipwreck has 
taken place? Now, let a ship go one day without a 
pilot and seamen, and thou wilt see it straightway over- 
whelmed ! But the world, though subsisting now five 
thousand years, and many more, hath suffered nothing 
of the kind. 

But why do I talk of a ship? Suppose one hath 
pitched a small hut in the vineyards ; and, when the 
fruit is gathered, leaves it vacant : it stands, however, 
scarce two or three days, but goes to pieces, and quickly 
falls down destroyed ! Could not a hut, forsooth, stand 
without superintendence ? How, then, could the work- 
manship of the world, so fair and marvellous? the laws 
of the night and day ? the interchanging dances of the 
seasons? the course of Nature chequered and varied as 
it is in every way throughout the earth, the sea, the 
sky? in plants, and in animals that fly, swim, walk, 
creep? and in the race of men, far more dignified than 
any of these; — how could all continue, yet unbroken, 
during so long a period, without some kind of prov- 
idence ? 

But, in addition to what has been said, follow me 
whilst I enumerate the meadows, the gardens, the 
flowery tribes ; all sorts of herbs, and their uses ; their 
odours, forms, disposition, yea, but their very names ; 
the trees which are fruitful, and the barren ; the nature 
of metals, — that of animals, — in the sea, or on the 
land ; of those that swim, and those that traverse the 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. CHRYSOSTOM. 235 

air ; the mountains, the forests, the groves ; the meadow 
below, and the meadow above, — for there is a meadow 
on the earth, and a meadow too in the sky ; the various 
flowers of the stars : the rose below, and the rainbow 
above ! Would you have me point out also the meadow 
of the birds ? Consider the variegated body of the pea- 
cock, surpassing every dye, and the fowls of purple 
plumage. 

Contemplate with me the beauty of the sky : how it 
has been preserved so long without being dimmed ; and 
remains as bright and clear as if it had been fabricated 
to-day ; moreover, the power of the Earth, how it has 
not become effete by bringing forth during so long a 
time ! Contemplate with me the fountains : how they 
burst forth and fail not, since the time they were 
begotten, to flow forth continually throughout the day 
and night! Contemplate with me the sea, receiving so 
many rivers, }-et never exceeding its measure ! But how 
long might we continue to pursue things incomprehen- 
sible ! It is fit, indeed, that, over every one of these 
which have been spoken of, we should say, " O Lord, 
how hast Thou magnified Thy works ! in wisdom hast 
Thou made them all." 

But what is the sapient answer of the unbelievers, 
when we go over all these particulars with them, — the 
magnitude, the beauty of creation, the richness, the 
munificence everywhere displayed? This very thing, 
say they, is the worst fault, that God hath made the 
world so beautiful and so vast. For, if he had not 
made it beautiful and vast, we should not have made a 
god of it ; but now, being struck with its grandeur, and 
marvelling at its beauty, we have thought it to be a 
deity. But such an argument is good for nothing. 
For, that neither the magnitude nor beauty of the 



236 CHOICE READINGS. 

world is the cause of this impiety, but their own 
absurdity, is what we are prepared to show, proved by 
the case of ourselves, who have never been so affected. 

Why, then, have ive not made a deit} T of it? Do we 
not see it with the same eyes as themselves ? Do we 
not enjoy the same advantage from the creation with 
themselves ? Do we not possess the same soul ? Have 
we not the same body ? Do we not tread the same 
earth ? How comes it that this beauty and magnitude 
have not persuaded us to think the same as they do? 
But this will be evident not from this proof only, but 
from another besides. For, as a proof that it is not for 
its beauty they have made a deity of it, but by reason of 
their own folly, why do they adore the ape, the croco- 
dile, the dog, and the vilest of animals ? Truly, "Ihey 
became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish 
heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, 
they became fools." 



Eulogium upon St. Paul. 

Jaques Benigne Bossuet. 

Christians, do not expect that the apostle will flat- 
ter your ears by harmonious cadences, or charm them by 
gratifiying your vain curiosity ; listen to what he says 
of himself. We preach hidden wisdom, — Ave preach a 
crucified God. Do not let us seek to add vain orna- 
ments to that God who rejects the things of this world. 
If our lowliness is displeasing to the great, let them 
know that we covet their disdain, for Jesus Christ 
despises their ostentatious indolence, and desires only 
to be known to the humble. The discourses of St. 
Paul, far from flowing with that agreeable sweetness, 
that calm equality which we admire in other orators, 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. BOSSUET. 237 

appear unequal and unfinished to those who do not 
stud}- them deeply ; and the delicate ones of this Earth 
whose ears, as they say, are so refined, are often offended 
by his irregular style. 

But do not let us blush for tins. The words of the 
apostle are simple, but his thoughts are divine. If he 
is ignorant of rhetoric and despises philosophy, Jesus 
Christ takes the place of all, and His name, which is 
ever in his mouth, and His mysteries, which he describes 
in such a tone of inspiration, render his simplicity all- 
powerful. 

This man, unacquainted with fine language, whose 
elocution was rude, and who spoke like a stranger, goes 
into polished Greece, the mother of philosophy and 
oratory; and notwithstanding the opposition of the 
people he there established more churches than Plato 
had acquired disciples, by an eloquence which was 
thought divine. He pushed his conquests still further : 
he brought the majesty of the Roman fasces to the feet 
of Jesus, in the person of a proconsul, and caused the 
judges, before whom he was cited, to tremble on their 
judgment-seats. Rome even listened to his voice ; and 
the day will yet arrive when this ancient mistress of 
the world will deem herself more honoured by an epistle 
of Paul, addressed to her citizens, than all the far- 
famed harrangues delivered in the forum by Cicero. 

And from whence, Christians, is this? It is that St. 
Paul had resources of persuasion that Greece could not 
teach, and Rome had not yet acquired, — an inspired 
power which delights in extolling what the great 
despise, and which is spread over and mingled with the 
august simplicity of his words. 

It is this which causes us to admire, in his epistles, a 
sentiment of superhuman virtue which prevails above 



238 CHOICE READINGS. 

ordinary rules, or rather does not persuade so much as 
it captivates the understanding, — which does not flat- 
ter the ear, but goes direct to the heart ; just as we see 
a great river retain, when flowing through the plain, 
that violent and impetuous force which it had acquired 
in the mountains from whence it derived its source. 
Thus the holy virtue which is contained in the writings 
of St. Paul, even in the simplicity of his style, preserves 
all the vigour it brings from the Heavens whence it has 
descended. 



Against the Stamp Act. 

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 

Gentlemen, Sir, have been charged with giving birth 
to sedition in America. Several have spoken their senti- 
ments with freedom against this unhappy Act, and that 
freedom has become their crime. Sorry I am to hear 
the liberty of speech in this House imputed as a crime. 
But this imputation shall not discourage me. It is a 
liberty I mean to exercise. No gentleman ought to be 
afraid to exercise it. It is a liberty by which the 
gentleman who calumniates it might have profited. He 
ought to have profited. He ought to have desisted from 
his project. 

The gentleman tells us America is obstinate ; America 
is almost in open rebellion. I rejoice that America has 
resisted. Three millions of people so dead to all the 
feelings of liberty, as voluntaril} r to let' themselves be 
made slaves, would have been fit instruments to make 
slaves of all the rest. I come not here armed at all 
points with law cases and Acts of Parliament, with the 
statute-book doubled down in dogs' ears, to defend the 
cause of liberty. I would not debate a point of law with 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. CHATHAM. 239 

the gentleman : I know his abilities. I have been obliged 
to his diligent researches. But, for the defence of 
liberty, upon a general principle, upon a constitutional 
principle, it is a ground on which I stand firm ; on which 
I dare meet any man. 

Since the accession of King William, many Ministers, 
some of great, others of moderate abilities, have taken 
the lead of Government. None of these thought or 
even dreamed of robbing the colonies of their constitu- 
tional rights. That was reserved to mark the era of the 
late administration : not that there were wanting some, 
when I had the honour to serve his Majesty, to propose to 
me to burn my fingers with an American Stamp Act. 
With the enemy at their back, with our bayonets at 
their breasts, in the depth of their distress perhaps the 
Americans would have submitted to the imposition ; 
but it would have been taking an ungenerous and un- 
just advantage. 

The gentleman boasts of his bounties to America ! 
Are not those bounties intended finally for the benefit 
of this kingdom ? If they are not, he has misapplied the 
national treasures. I am no courtier for America, — I 
stand up for this kingdom. I maintain that the Parlia- 
ment has a right to bind, to restrain America. Our 
legislative power over the colonies is sovereign and 
supreme. When two countries are connected, like Eng- 
land and her colonies, without being incorporated, the 
one must necessarily govern ; the greater must rule the 
less ; but so rule it as not to contradict the fundamental 
principles that are common to both. 

The gentleman asks, " When were the colonies eman- 
cipated ? " I desire to know when they were made 
slaves. But I will not dwell upon words. When I 
had the honour of serving his Majesty, I availed myself 



240 CHOICE READINGS. 

of the means of information which I derived from my 
office : I speak, therefore, from knowledge. My materials 
were good ; I was at pains to collect, to digest, to con- 
sider them ; and I will be bold to affirm that the profits 
of Great Britain from the trade of the colonies, through 
all its branches, are two millions a-year. This is the 
fund that carried you triumphantly through the last 
war. The estates that were rented at two thousand 
pounds a-year, threescore years ago, are at three thou- 
sand pounds at present. These estates sold then for 
from fifteen to eighteen years' purchase ; the same may 
now be sold for thirty. 

You owe this to America. This is the price America 
pays for her protection. And shall a miserable financier 
come with a boast, that he can fetch a peppercorn into 
the Exchequer by the loss of millions to the nation ? I 
dare not say how much higher these profits may be aug- 
mented. Omitting the immense increase of people by 
natural population in the northern colonies, and the emi- 
gration from every part of Europe, I am convinced that 
the whole commercial system of America may be altered 
to advantage. You have prohibited where you ought 
to have encouraged ; and you have encouraged where 
you ought to have prohibited. Improper restraints have 
been laid on the continent in favour of the islands. You 
have but two nations to trade with in America. Would 
you had twenty ! 

A great deal has been said without doors of the power, 
of the strength, of America. It is a topic that ought to 
be cautiously meddled with. In a good cause, on a 
sound bottom, the force of this country can crush 
America to atoms. I know the valour of your troops; 
I know the skill of your officers. There is not a com- 
pany of foot that has served in America, out of which 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. CHATHAM. 241 

you may not pick a man of sufficient knowledge and 
experience to make a governor of a colony there. But, 
on this ground, — on the Stamp Act, — when so many 
here will think it a crying injustice, I am one who will 
lift up my hands against it. 

In such a cause even j our success would be hazardous. 
America, if she fell, would fall like a strong man. 
She would embrace the pillars of the State, and pull 
down the Constitution along with her. Is this your 
boasted peace ? — to sheathe the sword, not in its scab- 
bard, but in the bowels of your countrymen ? Will you 
quarrel with yourselves now that the whole House of 
Bourbon is united against you ? — while France disturbs 
your fisheries in Newfoundland, and withholds from 
your subjects in Canada their property stipulated by 
treaty ? while the ransom for the Manillas is denied hy 
Spain, and its gallant conqueror basely traduced into a 
mean plunderer, — a gentleman whose noble and gen- 
erous spirit would do honour to the proudest grandee 
of the country? 

The Americans have not acted in all things with 
prudence and temper. The Americans have been 
wronged. They have been driven to madness by injus- 
tice. Will you punish them for the madness which you 
have occasioned? Rather let prudence and temper 
come first from this side. I will undertake for America 
that she will follow the example. — Upon the whole, I 
will beg leave to tell the House what is really my 
opinion. It is, that the Stamp Act be repealed, absolutely, 
totally, and immediately. 



242 CHOICE READINGS. 

Impeachment or Hastings Finished. 

Edmund Burke. 

My Lords, I have done ; the part of the Commons is 
concluded. With a trembling solicitude we consign this 
product of our long, long labours to your charge. Take 
it! — take it! It is a sacred trust. Never before was 
a cause of such magnitude submitted to any human 
tribunal. 

My Lords, at this awful close, in the name of the 
Commons, and surrounded by them, I attest the retiring, 
I attest the advancing generations, between which, as a 
link in the great chain of eternal order, we stand. We 
call this nation, we call the world to witness, that the 
Commons have shrunk from no labour, that we have 
been guilty of no prevarication, that we have made no 
compromise with crime, that we have not feared any 
odium whatsoever, in the long warfare which we have 
carried on with the crimes, Avith the vices, with the 
exorbitant wealth, with the enormous and overpowering 
influence of Eastern corruption. This war we have 
waged for twenty-two years, and the conflict has been 
fought at your Lordships' bar for the last seven years. 
My Lords, twenty-two years is a great space in the scale 
of the life of man ; it is no inconsiderable space in the 
history of a great nation. 

A business which has so long occupied the councils 
and the tribunals of Great Britain cannot possibly be 
huddled over in the course of vulgar, trite, and transi- 
tory events. Nothing but some of those great revoli 
tions that break the traditionary chain of human mem- 
ory, and alter the very face of Nature itself, can pos- 
sibly obscure it. My Lords, we are all elevated to a 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. BURKE. 243 

degree of importance by it ; the meanest of us will, by 
means of it, more or less become the concern of pos- 
terity, — if we are yet to hope for such a thing, in the 
present state of the world, as a recording, retrospective, 
civilized posterity : but this is in the hands of the great 
Disposer of events ; it is not ours to settle how it shall 
be. 

My Lords, your House yet stands, — it stands as a 
great edifice ; but let me say that it stands in the midst 
of ruins, — in the midst of the ruins that have been 
made by the greatest moral earthquake that ever con- 
vulsed and shattered this globe of ours. My Lords, it 
has pleased Providence to place us in such a state, that 
we appear every moment to be upon the verge of some 
great mutations. There is one thing, and one thing only, 
which defies all mutation, — that which existed before 
the world, and will survive the fabric of the world itself : 
I mean justice, — that justice which, emanating from the 
Divinity, has a place in the breast of every one of us, 
given us for our guide with regard to ourselves and with 
regard to others, and which will stand, after this globe 
is burned to ashes, our advocate or accuser before the 
great Judge. 

My Lords, the Commons will share in every fate with 
your Lordships ; there is nothing sinister which can 
happen to you, in which we shall not be involved. And 
if it should so happen that we shall be subjected to 
some of those frightful changes which we have seen ; if 
it should happen that your Lordships, stripped of all 
the decorous distinctions of human society, should, by 
hands at once base and cruel, be led to those scaffolds 
and machines of murder upon which great kings and 
glorious queens have shed their blood, amidst the pre- 
lates, amidst the nobles, amidst the magistrates who 



244 CHOICE READINGS. 

supported their thrones, may you, in those moments, 
feel that consolation which I am persuaded they felt in 
the critical moments of their dreadful agony ! 

My Lords, there is a consolation, — and a great con- 
solation it is ! — which often happens to oppressed vir- 
tue and fallen dignity. It often happens that the very 
oppressors and perscutors themselves are forced to bear 
testimony in its favour. I do not like to go for in- 
stances a great way back into antiquity. I know very 
well that length of time operates so as to give an air of 
the fabulous to remote events, which lessens the interest 
and weakens the application of examples. I wish to 
come nearer the present time. 

Your Lordships know and have heard (for which of 
us has not known and heard?) of the Parliament of 
Paris. The Parliament of Paris had an origin very, 
very similar to that of the great Court before which I 
stand; the Parliament of Paris continued to have a 
great resemblance to it in its constitution, even to its 
fall. The Parliament of Paris, my Lords, was ; it is 
gone ! It has passed away; it has vanished like a 
dream ! It fell, pierced by the sword of the Comte de 
Mirabeau. And yet I will say that that man, at the time 
of his inflicting the death-wound of that Parliament, 
produced at once the shortest and the grandest funeral 
oration that ever was or could be made upon the 
departure of a great court of magistracy. Though he 
had himself smarted under its lash, as every one knows 
who knows his history, (and he was elevated to dread- 
ful notoriety in history,) yet, when he pronounced the 
death-sentence upon that Parliament, and inflicted the 
mortal wound, he declared that his motives for doing it 
were merely political, and that their hands were as pure 
as those of justice itself, which they administered. 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. WEBSTER. 245 

A great and glorious exit, my Lords, of a great and 
glorious body ! And never was an eulogy pronounced 
upon a body more deserved. They were persons, in 
nobility of rank, in amplitude of fortune, in weight of 
authority, in depth of learning, inferior to few of those 
that hear me. My Lords, it was but the other day that 
they submitted their necks to the axe ; but their honour 
was unwounded. Their enemies, the persons who sen- 
tenced them to death, were lawyers full of subtlety, 
they were enemies full of malice ; yet, lawyers full of 
subtlety, and enemies full of malice, as they were, they 
did not dare to reproach them with having supported 
the wealthy, the great, and powerful, and of having 
oppressed the weak and feeble, in any of their judg- 
ments, or of having perverted justice, in any one instance 
whatever, through favour, through interest, or cabal. 

My Lords, if you must fall, may you so fall ! But, if 
you stand, — and stand I trust you will, together with 
the fortune of this ancient monarchy, together with the 
ancient laws and liberties of this great and illustrious 
kingdom, — may you stand as unimpeached in honour 
as in power ! May you stand, not as a substitute for 
virtue, but as an ornament of virtue, as a security for 
virtue ! May you stand long, and long stand the terror 
of tyrants ! May you stand the refuge of afflicted 
nations ! May you stand a sacred temple, for the per- 
petual residence of an inviolable justice ! 



Supposed Speech of John Adams. 

Daniel Webster. 

Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I give my 
hand and my heart to this vote. It is true indeed that 
in the beginning Ave aimed not at independence. But 



246 CHOICE READINGS. 

there's a Divinity which shapes our ends. The injus- 
tice of England has driven us to arms ; and, blinded to 
her own interest for our good, she has obstinately per- 
sisted, till independence is now within our grasp. We 
have but to reach forth to it, and it is ours. Why then 
should we defer the declaration ? Is any man so weak 
as now to hope for a reconciliation with England, which 
shall leave either safety to the country and its liberties, 
or safety to his life and his own honour ? Are not you, 
Sir, who sit in that chair, is not he, our venerable 
colleague near you, are you not both already the pro- 
scribed and predestined objects of punishment and of 
vengeance ? Cut off from all hope of royal clemency, 
what are you, what can you be, while the power of 
England remains, but outlaws ? 

If we postpone independence, do we mean to carry 
on, or to give up, the war? Do we mean to submit to 
the measures of Parliament, Boston-Port Bill and all? 
Do we mean to submit, and consent that we ourselves 
shall be ground to powder, and our country and its 
rights trodden down in the dust? I know we do not 
mean to submit. We never shall submit. Do we 
mean to violate that most solemn obligation ever en- 
tered into by men, that plighting, before God, of our 
sacred honour to Washington, when, putting him forth 
to incur the dangers of war, as well as the political 
hazards of the times, we promised to adhere to him, 
in every extremity, with our fortunes and our lives ? I 
know there is not a man here, who would not rather see 
a general conflagration sweep over the land, or an 
earthquake sink it, than one jot or title of that plighted 
faith fall to the ground. For myself, having, twelve 
months ago, in this place, moved you, that George 
Washington be appointed commander of the forces 



THE SEVEN GREAT ORATORS. WEBSTER. 247 

raised, or to be raised, for defence of American liberty, 
may my right hand forget her cunning, and my tongue 
cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I hesitate or waver 
in the support I give him. 

The war, then, must go on. We must fight it 
through. And if the war must go on, why put off lon- 
ger the Declaration of Independence? That measure 
will strengthen us. It will give us character abroad. 
The nations will then treat with us, which they never 
can do while we acknowledge ourselves subjects in 
arms against our sovereign. Nay, I maintain that Eng- 
land herself will sooner treat for peace with us on the 
footing of independence than consent, by repealing her 
Acts, to acknowledge that her whole conduct toward 
us has been a course of injustice and oppression. Her 
pride will be less wounded by submitting to that course 
of things which now predestinates our independence 
than by yielding the points in controversy to her rebel- 
lious subjects. The former she would regard as the 
result of fortune ; the latter she would feel as her own 
deep disgrace. Why then, why then, Sir, do we not as 
soon as possible change this from a civil to a national 
war? And, since we must fight it through, why not 
put ourselves in a state to enjoy all the benefits of vic- 
tory, if we gain the victory ? 

If we fail, it can be no worse for us. But we shall 
not fail. The cause will raise up armies ; the cause 
will create navies. The people, the people, if we are 
true to them, will carry us, and will cany themselves, 
gloriously through the struggle. I care not how fickle 
other people have been found. I know the people of 
these Colonies, and I know that resistance to British 
aggression is deep and settled in their hearts, and can- 
not be eradicated. Every Colony, indeed, has expressed 
its willingness to follow, if we but take the lead. 



248 CHOICE READINGS. 

Sir, the Declaration will inspire the people with 
increased courage. Instead of a long and bloody war 
for restoration of privileges, for redress of grievances, 
for chartered immunities, held under a British King, 
set before them the glorious object of entire independ- 
ence, and it will breathe into them anew the breath of 
life. Read this Declaration at the head of the army ; 
every sword will be drawn from its scabbard, and the 
solemn vow uttered, to maintain it, or to perish on the 
bed of honour. Publish it from the pulpit; religion 
will approve it, and the love of religious liberty will 
cling round it, resolved to stand with it, or fall with it. 
Send it to the public halls ; proclaim it there ; let them 
hear it who heard the first roar of the enemy's cannon ; 
let them see it who saw their brothers and their sons 
fall on the field of Bunker Hill, and in the streets of 
Lexington and Concord, and the very walls will cry 
out in its support. 

Sir, I know the uncertainty of human affairs, but I 
see, I see clearly, through this day's business. You and 
I indeed may rue it. We may not live to the time 
when this Declaration shall be made good. We may 
die ; die, colonists ; die, slaves ; die, it may be, igno- 
miniously and on the scaffold. Be it so ; be it so ! If 
it be the pleasure of Heaven that my country shall 
require the poor offering of my life, the victim shall be 
ready at the appointed hour of sacrifice, come when that 
hour may. But, while I do live, let me have a country, 
or at least the hope of a country, and that a free coun- 
try. 

But, whatever may be our fate, be assured, be 
assured, that this Declaration will stand. It may cost 
treasure, and it may cost blood ; but it will stand, and 
it will richly compensate for both. Through the thick 



COMPOSED AT CORA.LIXX. 249 

gloom of the present. I see the brightness of the future, 
as the Sun in heaven. We shall make this a glorious, 
an immortal day. When we are in our graves, our 
children will honour it. They will celebrate it with 
thanksgiving, with festivity, with bonfires, and illumi- 
nations. On its annual return they will shed tears, 
copious, gushing tears, not of subjection and slavery, 
not of agony and distress, but of exultation, of gratitude, 
and of joy. Sir. before God. I believe the hour is 
come. My judgment approves this measure, and my 
whole heart is in it. All that I have, and all that I 
am. and all that I hope, in this life. I am now ready 
here to stake upon it : and I leave off, as I began, that, 
live or die, survive or perish. I am for the Declaration. 
It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God 
it shall be my dying sentiment. Independence now, and 

INDEPENDENCE FOE EVEE. 



COMPOSED AT OOKA LLTO,* 

In Sight of Wallace's Tower. 

Lord of the vale '. astounding Flood, 
The dullest leaf in this thick wood 
Quakes, conscious of thy power ; 
The caves reply with hollow moan : 
And vibrates, to its central stone. 
Yon time-cemented Tower ! 

And yet how fair the rural scene ! 
For thou. O Clyde, hast ever been 
Beneficent as strong : 
Pleased in refreshing dews to steep 
The little trembling flowers that peep 
Thy shelving rocks among. 
* Linn is Scottish for waterfall or cascade. 



250 CHOICE READINGS. 

Hence all who love their country, love 
To look on thee, — delight to rove 
Where they thy voice can hear ; 
And, to the patriot-warrior's Shade, 
Lord of the vale ! to Heroes laid 
In dust, that voice is dear ! 

Along thy banks, at dead of night, 
Sweeps visibly the Wallace Wight ; 
Or stands, in warlike vest, 
Aloft, beneath the Moon's pale beam, 
A Champion worthy of the stream, 
Yon gray tower's living crest ! 

But clouds and envious darkness hide 
A Form not doubtfully descried : 
Their transient mission o'er, 
O, say to what blind region flee 
These Shapes of awful phantasy ? 
To what untrodden shore ? 

Less than divine command they spurn ; 
But this we from the mountains learn, 
And this the valleys show, — 
That never will they deign to hold 
Communion where the heart is cold 
To human weal and woe. 

The man of abject soul in vain 
Shall walk the Marathonian plain ; 
Or thrid the shadowy gloom, 
That still invests the guardian Pass, 
Where stood, sublime, Leonidas 
Devoted to the tomb. 

Nor deem that it can aught avail 
For such to glide with oar or sail 
Beneath the piny wood, 



PATRIOTISM. 251 

Where Tell once drew, by Uri's lake, 
His vengeful shafts, — prepared to slake 
Their thirst in tyrant's blood. 

PATKIOTISM. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said, 

This is my own, mj- native land ! 
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd, 
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd, 

From wandering on a foreign strand ! 
If such there breathe, go, mark him well : 
For him no minstrel raptures swell ; 
High though his titles, proud his name, 
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim ; 
Despite those titles, power, and pelf, 
The wretch, concentred all iu self, 
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, 
And, doubly dying, shall go down 
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung, 
Unwept, unhonour'd, and unsung. 
O Caledonia ! stern and wild, 
Meet nurse for a poetic child ! 
Land of brown heath and shaggy wood, 
Land of the mountain and the flood, 
Land of my sires ! what mortal hand 
Can e'er untie the filial band, 
That knits me to thy rugged strand ! 
Still, as I view each well-known scene, 
Think what is now, and what hath been, 
Seems as, to me, of all bereft, 
Sole friends thy woods and streams were left ; 
And thus I love them better still, 
Even in extremity of ill. 



252 CHOICE READINGS. 

By Yarrow's stream still let me stray, 
Though none should guide my feeble way 
Still feel the breeze down Ettrick break, 
Although it chill my wither'd cheek ; 
Still lay my head by Teviot stone, 
Though there, forgotten and alone, 
The Bard may draw his parting groan. 



>J*£o~- 



PAUL EEVEEE'S KIBE 

H. W. Longfellow. 

Ltsten, my children, and you shall hear 

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, 

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five : 

Hardly a man is now alive 

Who remembers that famous day and year. 

He said to his friend, — "If the British march 

By land or sea from the town to-night, 

Hang a lantern aloft in the belfiy-arch 

Of the North-Church tower, as a signal-light, — 

One if by land, and two if by sea ; 

And I on the opposite shore will be, 

Ready to ride and spread the alarm 

Through every Middlesex village and farm, 

For the country-folk to be up and to arm." 

Then he said good-night, and with muffled oar 

Silently row'd to the Charlestown shore, 

Just as the Moon rose over the bay, 

Where swinging wide at her moorings lay 

The Somerset, British man-of-war : 

A phantom ship, with each mast and spar 

Across the Moon, like a prison-bar, 

And a huge, black hulk, that was magnified 

By its own reflection in the tide. 



PAUL revere's ride. 253 

Meanwhile his friend, through alley and street 
Wanders and watches with eager ears, 
Till in the silence around hirn he hears 
The muster of men at the barrack-door, 
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet, 
And the measured tread of the grenadiers 
Marching down to their boats on the shore. 

Then he climb'd to the tower of the church, 
Up the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread, 
To the belfry-chamber overhead, 
And startled the pigeons from their perch 
On the sombre rafters, that round him made 
Masses and moving shapes of shade ; 
Up the light ladder, slender and tall, 
To the highest window in the wall, 
"Where he paused to listen and look down 
A moment on the roofs of the quiet town, 
And the moonlight flowing over all. 

Beneath, in the churchward, lay the dead 

In their night-encampment on the hill. 

Wrapp'd in silence so deep and still, 

That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread, 

The watchful night-wind as it went 

Creeping along from tent to tent, 

And seeming to whisper, tw All is well ! " 

A moment only he feels the spell 

Of the place and the hour, the secret dread 

Of the lonel} 7 belfry and the dead ; 

For suddenly all his thoughts are bent 

On a shadowy something far away, 

Where the river widens to meet the bay, — 

A line of black, that bends and floats 

On the rising tide, like a bridge of boats. 

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride, 
Booted and spurr'd, with a heavy stride, 



254 CHOICE READINGS. 

On the opposite shore walk'd Paul Revere. 
Now he patted his horse's side, 
Now gazed on the landscape far and near, 
Then impetuous stamp'd the earth, 
And turn'd and tighten' d his saddle-girth ; 
But mostly he watch'd with eager search 
The belfry-tower of the old North Church, 
As it rose above the graves on the hill, 
Lonely, and spectral, and sombre, and still. 

And, lo ! as he looks, on the belfry's height, 
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light ! 
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns, 
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight 
A second lamp in the belfry burns ! 

A hurry of hoofs in a village-street, 

A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark, 

And beneath from the pebbles, in passing, a spark 

Struck out by a steed that flies fearless and fleet : 

That was all ! And yet, through the gloom and the light, 

The fate of a nation was riding that night ; 

And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight, 

Kindled the land into flame with its heat. 

It was twelve by the village-clock, 

When he cross'd the bridge into Medford town, 

He heard the crowing of the cock, 

And the barking of the farmer's dog, 

And felt the damp of the river- fog, 

That rises when the Sun goes down. 

It was one by the village-clock, 

When he rode into Lexington. 

He saw the gilded weathercock 

Swim in the moonlight as he pass'd, 

And the meeting-house windows, blank and bare, 

Gaze at him with a spectral glare, 



PAUL REVERE' S RIDE. 255 

As if they already stood aghast 

At the bloody work they would look upon. 

It was two by the village clock, 

When he came to the bridge in Concord town. 

He heard the bleating of the flock, 

And the twitter of birds among the trees, 

And felt the breath of the morning-breeze 

Blowing over the meadows brown. 

And one was safe and asleep in his bed 

Who at the bridge would be first to fall, 

Who that day w T ould be lying dead, 

Pierced by a British musket-ball. 

• 
You know the rest. In the books you have read 
How the British regulars fired and fled ; 
How the farmers gave them ball for ball, 
From behind each fence and farmyard-wall, 
Chasing the red-coats down the lane, 
Then crossing the fields to emerge again 
Under the trees at the turn of the road, 
And only pausing to fire and load. 

So through the night rode Paul Revere ; 

And so through the night went his cry of alarm 

To every Middlesex village and farm, — 

A cry of defiance, and not of fear, — 

A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door, 

And a word that shall echo for evermore ! 

For, borne on the night-wind of the Past, 

Through all our history, to the last, 9 

In the hour of darkness, and peril, and need, 

The people will waken and listen to hear 

The hurrying hoof-beat of that steed, 

And the midnight-message of Paul Revere. 



256 CHOICE READINGS. 

HOEATIUS AT THE BRIDGE. 

Lord Macaulay. 

Now the Consul's brow was sad, 

And the Consul's speech was low, 
And darkly look'cl he at the wall, 

And darkly at the foe : 
1 ' Their van will be upon us 

Before the bridge goes down ; 
And, if they once may win the bridge, 

What hope to save the town ? " 

Then outspake brave Horatius, 

The captain of the gate : 
" To ever} 7 man upon this Earth 

Death cometh soon or late. 
And how can man die better 

Than facing fearful odds 
For the ashes of his fathers 

And the temples of his gods ? 

Hew clown the bridge, Sir Consul, 

With all the speed } 7 e may ; 
I, with two more to help me, 

Will hold the foe in play, — 
In yon strait path a thousand 

May well be stopp'd by three. 
Now who will stand on either hand, 

And keep the bridge with me ? " 

Then outspake Spurius Lartius, — 

A Ramnian proud was he : 
" Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, 

And keep the bridge with thee/' 
And outspake strong Herminius, — 

Of Titian blood was he : 
" I will abide on thy left side, 

And keep the bridge with thee," 



HORATIUS AT THE BRIDGE. 257 

" Horatius," quoth the Consul, 

" As thou say'st, so let it be." 
Aud straight against that great array 

Forth went the dauntless Three. 
Now, while the Three were tightening 

Their harness on their backs, 
The Consul was the foremost man 

To take in hand an axe ; 
And Fathers mix'd with Commons 

Seized hatchet, bar, and crow, 
And smote upon the planks above, 

And loosed the props below. 

Meanwhile the Tuscan arm} T , 

Right glorious to behold, 
Came flashing back the noonday light, 
Rank behind rank, like surges bright 

Of a broad sea of gold. 
Four hundred trumpets sounded 

A peal of warlike glee, 
As that great host, with measured tread, 
And spears advanced, and ensigns spread, 
Roll'd slowly towards the bridge's head, 

Where stood the dauntless Three. 

But now no sound of laughter 

Was heard amongst the foes. 
A wild and wrathful clamour 

From all the vanguard rose. 
Six spears' lengths from the entrance 

Halted that mighty mass, 
And for a space no man came forth 

To win the narrow pass. 

But, hark ! the cry is Astur : 

And, lo ! the ranks divide ; 
And the great lord of Luna 

Comes with his stately stride. 



258 CHOICE READINGS. 

Quoth he, " The she- wolf s litter 

Stand savagely at bay ; 
But will ye dare to follow, 

If Astur clears the way ? " 

Then, whirling up his broadsword 

With both hands to the height, 
He rush'd against Horatius, 

And smote with all his might. 
With shield and blade Horatius 

Right deftly turn'd the blow ; 
The blow, though turn'd, came yet too nigh ; 
It miss'd his helm, but gash'd his thigh. 
The Tuscans raised a joyful cry 

To see the red blood flow. 

He reel'd, and on Herminius 

He lean'd one breathing-space, 
Then, like a wild-cat mad with wounds, 

Sprang right at Astur' s face. 
Through teeth and skull and helmet 

So fierce a thrust he sped, 
The good sword stood a handbreadth out 

Behind the Tuscan's head. 

But meanwhile axe and lever 

Have manfully been plied, 
And now the bridge hangs tottering 

Above the boiling tide. 
" Come back, come back, Horatius ! " 

Loud cried the Fathers all ; 
" Back, Lartius ! back, Herminius ! 
Back, ere the ruin fall ! " 

Back darted Spurius Lartius ; 

Herminius darted back ; 
And, as the}' pass'd, beneath their feet 

They felt the timbers crack ; 



HORATIUS AT THE BRIDGE. 259 

But, when they turn'd their faces, 

And on the farther shore 
Saw brave Horatius stand alone, 

They would have cross' d once more. 
But, with a crash like thunder. 

Fell every loosen'd beam, 
And, like a dam, the might}' wreck 

Lay right athwart the stream ; 
And a long shout of triumph 

Rose from the walls of Rome, 
As to the highest turret-tops 

Was splash'cl the yellow foam. 

Alone stood brave Horatius, 

But constant still in mind, — 
Thrice thirty thousand foes before, 

And the broad flood behind. 
" Down with him ! " cried false Sextus, 

With a smile on his pale face ; 
" Now yield thee," cried Lars Porsena, 

" Now yield thee to our grace ! " 

Round turn'd he, as not deigning 

Those craven ranks to see ; 
Nought spake he to Lars Porsena, 

To Sextus nought spake he ; 
But he saw on Palatinus 

The white porch of his home ; 
And he spake to the noble river 

That rolls by the towers of Rome : 

"O Tiber! Father Tiber ! 

To whom the Romans pray, 
A Roman's life, a Roman's arms, 

Take thou in charge this day ! " 
So he spake, and, speaking, sheathed 

The good sword by his side, 



260 CHOICE READINGS. 

And, with his harness on his back, 
Plunged headlong in the tide. 

No sound of joy or sorrow 

Was heard from either bank, 
But friends and foes in dumb surprise, 
"With parted lips and straining eyes, 

Stood gazing where he sank ; 
And, when above the surges 

They saw his crest appear, 
All Rome sent forth a rapturous cry, 
And even the ranks of Tuscany 

Could scarce forbear to cheer. 

But fiercely ran the current, 

SwolPn high by months of rain, 
And fast his blood was flowing ; 

And he was sore in pain, 
And heavy with his armour, 

And spent with changing blows ; 
And oft the}" thought him sinking, 

But still again he rose. 

And now he feels the bottom ; — 

Now on dry earth he stands ; 
Now round him throng the Fathers 

To press his gory hands. 
And, now with shouts and clapping, 

And noise of weeping loud, 
He enters through the River Gate, 

Borne by the joyous crowd. 

WALPOLE'S ATTACK Otf PITT. 

I WAS unwilling to interrupt the course of this debate 
while it was carried on, with calmness and decency, by 
men who do. not suffer the ardour of opposition to cloud 



walpole's attack ON PITT. 261 

their reason or transport them to such expressions as 
the dignity of this assembly does not admit. I have hith- 
erto deferred answering the gentleman who declaimed 
against the bill with such fluency of rhetoric and such 
vehemence of gesture ; who charged the advocates for 
the expedients now proposed with having no regard to 
any interests but their own, and with making laws only 
to consume paper, and threatened them with the defec- 
tion of their adherents, and the loss of their influence, 
upon this new discovery of their folly and ignorance. 
Nor do I now answer him for any other purpose than 
to remind him how little the clamours of rage and the 
petulancy of invective contribute to the end for which 
this assembly is called together; how little the dis- 
covery of truth is promoted, and the security of the 
nation established by pompous diction and theatrical 
emotion. Formidable sounds and furious declama- 
tion, confident assertions and lofty periods, may affect 
the young and inexperienced ; and perhaps the gentle- 
man may have contracted his habits of oratory by con- 
versing more with those of his own age than with such 
as have more opportunities of acquiring knowledge, and 
more successful methods of communicating their senti- 
ments. If the heat of his temper would permit him to 
attend to those whose age and long acquaintance with 
business give them an indisputable right to deference 
and superiority, he would learn, in time, to reason 
rather than declaim, and to prefer justness of argument, 
and an accurate knowledge of facts, to sounding epi- 
thets and splendid superlatives, which may disturb the 
imagination for a moment, but leave no lasting impres- 
sion on the mind. He will learn that to accuse and 
prove are very different ; and that reproaches, unsup- 
ported by evidence, affect only the character of him that 



262 CHOICE READINGS. 

utters them. Excursions of fancy and nights of oratory 
are, indeed, pardonable in young men, but in no other ; 
and it would surely contribute more, even to the pur- 
pose for which some gentlemen appear to speak, (that 
of depreciating the conduct of the administration,) to 
prove the inconveniences and injustice of this bill, than 
barely to assert them, with whatever magnificence of 
language or appearance of zeal, honesty, or compas- 
sion. 

PITT'S EEPLY TO WALPOLE. 

Sir, — The atrocious crime of being a young man, 
which the honourable gentleman has, with such spirit 
and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt 
to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing 
that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with 
their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant 
in spite of experience. Whether youth can be imputed 
to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, assume the 
province of determining; but surely age may become 
justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings 
have passed away without improvement, and vice ap- 
pears to prevail when the passions have subsided. 

The wretch who, after having seen the consequences 
of a thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and 
whose age has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is 
surely the object either of abhorrence or contempt, and 
deserves not that his gray hairs should secure him from 
insult. Much more, Sir, is he to be abhorred who, as 
he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, am 1 
become more wicked with less temptation ; who prosti- 
tutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and 
spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his coun- 
try. 



pitt's reply to walpole. 263 

But youth, Sir, is not my only crime ; I have been 
accused of acting a theatrical part. A theatrical part 
may either imply some peculiarities of gesture, or a dis- 
simulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of 
the opinions and language of another man. 

In the first sense, Sir, the charge is too trifling to be 
confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned, that it 
may be despised. I am at liberty, like every other 
man, to use my own language ; and, though perhaps I 
may have some ambition to please this gentleman, I 
shall not lay myself under any restraint, nor very solicit- 
ously copy his diction or his mien, however matured 
by age or modelled by experience. 

But if any man shall, by charging me with theatrical 
behaviour imply that I utter any sentiments but my 
own, I shall treat him as a calumniator and a villain ; 
nor shall any protection shelter him from the treatment 
he deserves. I shall, on such an occasion, without 
scruple, trample upon all those forms with which wealth 
and dignity intrench themselves; nor shall anything 
but age restrain my resentment, — age, which always 
brings one privilege, that of being insolent and super- 
cilious, without punishment. 

But with regard, Sir, to those whom I have offended, 
I am of opinion that, if I had acted a borrowed part, I 
should have avoided their censure ; the heat that 
offended them is the ardour of conviction, and that 
zeal for the service of my country which neither hope 
nor fear shall influence me to suppress. I will not sit 
unconcerned while my liberty is invaded, nor look in 
silence upon public robbery. I will exert my endeav- 
ours, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor, and 
drag the thief to justice, whoever may protect him in 
his villainy, and whoever may partake of his plunder. 



264 CHOICE READINGS. 

OUR DUTIES TO THE REPUBLIC. 

Judge Story. 

The Old World has already revealed to us, in its 
unsealed books, the beginning and end of all its own 
•marvellous struggles in the cause of liberty. Greece, 
lovely Greece, " the land of scholars and the nurse of 
arms," where sister republics, in fair procession, chanted 
the praises of liberty and the gods, — where and what 
is she ? For two thousand years the oppressor has 
ground her to the earth. Her arts are no more. The 
last sad relics of her temples are but the barracks of a 
ruthless soldiery. The fragments of her columns and 
her palaces are in the dust, yet beautiful in ruins. She 
fell not when the mighty were upon her. Her sons 
were united at Thermopylae and Marathon ; and the tide 
of her triumph rolled back upon the Hellespont. She 
was conquered by her own factions. She fell by the 
hands of her own people. The man of Macedonia did 
not the work of destruction. It was already done by 
her own corruptions, banishments, and dissensions. 

Rome, republican Rome, whose eagles glanced in the 
rising and setting Sun, — where and what is she? The 
eternal city yet remains, proud even in her desolation, 
noble in her decline, venerable in the majesty of re- 
ligion, and calm as in the composure of death. The 
malaria has but travelled in the paths worn by her 
destroyers. More than eighteen centuries have mourned 
over the loss of her empire. A mortal disease was upon 
her vitals before CaBsar crossed the Rubicon ; and Bru- 
tus did not restore her health by the deep probings of 
the Senate-chamber. The Goths and Vandals and 
Huns, the swarms of the North, completed only what 
was already begun at home. Romans betrayed Rome. 



OUR DUTIES TO THE REPUBLIC. 265 

The legions were bought and sold ; but the people 
offered the tribute money. 

We stand the latest, — and, if we fail, probably the 
last, — experiment of self-government by the people. 
We have begun it under circumstances of the most 
auspicious nature. We are in the vigour of. youth. 
Our growth has never been checked by the oppressions 
of tyranny. Our constitutions have never been en- 
feebled by the vices or luxuries of the old world. Such 
as we are, we have been from the beginning, — simple, 
hardy, intelligent, accustomed to self-government and 
to self-respect. The Atlantic rolls between us and any 
formidable foe. Within our own territory, stretching 
through many degrees of latitude and longitude, we 
have the choice of many products and many means of 
independence. The government is mild. The Press is 
free. Religion is free. Knowledge reaches or may 
reach every home. What fairer prospect of success 
could be presented? What means more adequate to 
accomplish the sublime end? What more is necessary 
than for the people to preserve what they have them- 
selves created? Already has the age caught the spirit 
of our institutions. It has already ascended the Andes, 
and snuffed the breezes of both oceans. It has infused 
itself into the life-blood of Europe, and warmed the 
sunny plains of France and the low lands., of Holland. 
It has touched the philosophy of Germany and the 
North ; and, moving onward to the South, has opened 
to Greece the lessons of her better days. Can it be 
that America, under such circumstances, can betray 
herself? Can it be that she is to be added to the cata- 
logue of republics, the inscription upon whose ruins is: 
"They were, but they are not"? Forbid it, my 
countrymen ! Forbid it, Heaven ! 



266 CHOICE READINGS. 

LIBEETY AND UNION. 

Daniel Webster. 

I profess, Sir, iii my career hitherto, to have kept 
steadily in view the prosperity and honour of the whole 
country, and the preservation of our Federal Union. It 
is to that Union we owe our safety at home, and our 
consideration and dignity abroad. It is to that Union 
that we are chiefly indebted for whatever makes us 
most proud of our country. That Union we reached 
only by the discipline of our virtues in the severe school 
of adversity. It had its origin in the necessities of dis- 
ordered finance, prostrate commerce, and ruined credit. 
Under its benign influences, these great interests imme- 
diately awoke, as from the dead, and sprang forth with 
newness of life. Every year of its duration has teemed 
with fresh proofs of its utility and its blessings ; and, 
although our territory has stretched out wider and wider, 
and our population spread further and further, they 
have not outrun its protection or its benefits. It has 
been to us all a copious fountain of national, social, and 
personal happiness. 

I have not allowed myself, Sir, to look beyond the 
Union, to see what might lie hidden in the dark recess 
behind. I have not coolly weighed the chances of pre- 
serving liberty when the bonds that unite us together 
shall be broken asunder. I have not accustomed my- 
self to hang over the precipice of disunion, to see 
whether, with my short sight, I can fathom the depth 
of the abyss below ; nor could I regard hiimas a safe 
counsellor in the affairs of this government, whose 
thoughts should be mainly bent on considering, not 
how the Union may be best preserved, but how tolera- 
ble might be the condition of the people when it shall 
be broken up and destroyed. 



INDEPENDENCE BELL. 267 

While the Union lasts, we have high, exciting, grati- 
fying prospects spread out before us, for us and our 
children. Beyond that I seek not to penetrate the veil. 
God grant that, in my day at least, that curtain may 
not rise ! God grant that on my vision never may be 
opened what lies behind ! When my eyes shall be 
turned to behold, for the last time, the Sun in heaven, 
may I not see him shining on the broken and dishon- 
oured fragments of a once glorious Union ; on States 
dissevered, discordant, belligerent ; on a land rent with 
civil feuds, or drenched, it may be, in fraternal blood ! 
Let their last feeble and lingering glance rather behold 
the gorgeous ensign of the republic, now known and 
honoured throughout the Earth, still full high advanced, 
its arms and trophies streaming in their original lustre, 
not a stripe erased or polluted, nor a single star ob- 
scured ; bearing for its motto, no such miserable inter- 
rogatory as, "What is all this worth?" nor those other 
words of delusion and folly, " Liberty first, and Union 
afterwards " ; but everywhere, spread all over in char- 
acters of living light, blazing on all its ample folds, as 
they float over the sea and over the land, and in every 
wind under the whole heavens, that other sentiment, 
dear to every true American heart, — Liberty and 
Union, now and for ever, one and inseparable ! 



>>*Xc 



INDEPENDENCE BELL. — J0T,Y 4, 1776. 

[When the Declaration of Independence was adopted hy Congress, the 
event was announced hy ringing the old State-House hell, which bore the 
inscription " Proclaim liberty throughout the land, to all the inhabitants 
thereof! " The old bellman stationed his little grandson at the door of the 
hall, to await the instructions of the door-keeper when to ring. At the 
word, the young patriot rushed out, and clapping his hands, shouted: — 
"Pang! King ! RING!"] 



268 CHOICE READINGS. 

There was a tumult iu the city, 

In the quaint old Quaker town, 
And the streets were rife with people 

Pacing restless up and down, — 
People gathering at the corners, 

Where they whisper'd each to each, 
And the sweat stood on their temples 

With the earnestness of speech. 

As the bleak Atlantic currents 

Lash the wild Newfoundland shore, 
So they beat against the State-House, 

So they surged against the door ; 
And the mingling of their voices 

Made a harmony profound, 
Till the quiet street of Chestnut 

Was all turbulent with sound. 

" Will they do it? " " Dare they do it? " 

' ' Who is speaking ? " " What's the news ? " 
' ' What of Adams ? " " What of Sherman ? " 

" O, God grant they won't refuse ! " 
" Make some wa} r there ! " " Let me nearer ! " 

"lam stifling ! " " Stifle, then ! 
When a nation's life's at hazard, 

We've no time to think of men ! " 

So they surged against the State-House, 

While all solemnly insure 
Sat the Continental Congress, 

Truth and reason for their guide. 
O'er a simple scroll debating, 

Which, though simple it might be, 
Yet should shake the cliffs of England 

With the thunders of the free. 

Far aloft in that high steeple 
Sat the bellman, old and gray ; 



INDEPENDENCE BELL. 269 

He was weary of the tyrant 

And his iron-scepter' cl sway, 
So he sat, with one hand ready 

On the clapper of the bell, 
When his eye could catch the signal, 

The long-expected news, to tell. 

See, see ! the dense crowd quivers 

Through all its lengthen'd line, 
As the boy beside the portal 

Hastens forth to give the sign ! 
With his little hands uplifted, 

Breezes dallying with his hair, 
Hark ! with deep, clear intonation, 

Breaks his young voice on the air : 

Hush'd the people's swelling murmur, 

Whilst the boy cries joyously ; 
" Ring ! " he shouts, " Ring ! grandpapa, 

Ring ! 0, ring for Liberty ! " 
Quickly, at the given signal, 

The old bellman lifts his hand, 
Forth he sends the good news, making 

Iron music through the land. 

How they shouted ! What rejoicing ! 

How the old bell shook the air, 
Till the clang of freedom ruffled 

The calmty-gliding Delaware ! 
How the bonfires and the torches 

Lighted up the night's repose, 
And from the flames, like fabled Phoenix, 

Our glorious liberty arose ! 

That old State-House bell is silent, 
Hush'd is now its clamorous tongue ; 

But the spirit it awaken'd 
Still is living, — ever young ; 



270 CHOICE READINGS. 

And, when we greet the smiling sunlight 
On the fourth of each July, 

We will ne'er forget the bellman 
Who, betwixt the earth and sky, 

Rung out, loudly, u Independence" ; 
Which, please God, shall never die ! 



THE AMEKICAN FLAG. 

Joseph Rodman Drake. 

When Freedom, from her mountain height, 
Unfurl' d her standard to the air, 

She tore the azure robe of night, 
And set the stars of glory there ! 

She mingled with its gorgeous dyes 

The milky baldric of the skies, 

And striped its pure celestial white 

With streakings of the morning light ; 

Then, from his mansion in the Sun, 

She call'd her eagle bearer down, 

And gave into his mighty hand 

The symbol of her chosen land ! 

Majestic monarch of the cloud ! 

Who rear'st aloft thy regal form, 
To hear the tempest-trumpings loud, 
And see the lightning lances driven, 

When strive the warriors of the storm, 
And rolls the thunder-drum of heaven, — 
Child of the Sun ! to thee 'tis given 

To guard the banner of the free, 
To hover in the sulphur smoke, 
To ward away the battle-stroke, 

And bid its blendings shine afar, 

Like rainbows on the cloud of war, 
The harbingers of victoiy ! 



THE AMERICAN FLAG. 271 

Flag of the brave ! thy folds shall fly, 
The sign of hope and triumph high ! 
When speaks the signal-trumpet tone, 
And the long line comes gleaming on, 
Ere yet the life-blood, warm and wet, 
Has climm'd the glistening bayonet, 
Each soldier's eye shall brightly turn 
To where thy sky-born glories burn, 
And, as his springing steps advance, 
Catch war and vengeance from the glance. 
And when the cannon-mouthings loud 
Heave in wild wreaths the battle shroud, 
And gory sabres rise and fall 
Like shoots of flame on midnight's pall, 
Then shall thy meteor glances glow, 

And cowering foes shall shrink beneath 
Each gallant arm that strikes below 

That lovely messenger of death. 

Flag of the seas ! on ocean wave 
Thy stars shall glitter o'er the brave ; 
When death, careering on the gale, 
Sweeps darkly round the bellied sail, 
And frighten' d waves rush wildly back 
Before the broadside's reeling rack, 
Each dying wanderer of the sea 
Shall look at once to heaven and thee, 
And smile to see thy splendours fly 
In triumph o'er his closing eye. 

Flag of the free heart's hope and home, 

By angel-hands to valour given, 
Tlry stars have lit the welkin dome, 

And all tlry hues were born in heaven. 
Forever float that standard sheet, 

Where breathes the foe but falls before us, 
With Freedom's soil beneath our feet, 

And Freedom's banner streaming- o'er ns ! 



272 CHOICE READINGS. 

THE KISXtfG OF 1776. 

Thomas Buchanan Read. 

Out of the North the wild news came, 
Far flashing on its wings of flame, 
Swift as the boreal light which flies 
At midnight through the startled skies. 
And there was tumult in the air, 

The fife's shrill note, the drum's loud beat, 
And through the wide land everywhere 

The answering tread of hurrying feet ; 
While the first oath of Freedom's gun 
Came on the blast from Lexington ; 
And Concord roused, no longer tame, 
Forgot her old baptismal name, 
Made bare her patriot arm of power, 
And swell 'd the discord of the hour. 

Within its shade of elm and oak 

The church of Berkley Manor stood ; 
There Sunday found the rural folk, 

And some esteem'd of gentle blood. 

In vain their feet with loitering tread 
Pass'd 'mid the graves where rank is nought ; 
All could not read the lesson taught 

In that republic of the dead. 

How sweet the hour of Sabbath talk, 

The vale with peace and sunshine full, 
Where all the happy people walk, 

Deck'd in their homespun flax and wool ; 

Where youth's ga}' hats with blossoms bloom ; 
And every maid, with simple art, 
Wears on her breast, like her own heart, 

A bud whose depths are all perfume ; 
While every garment's gentle stir 
Is breathing rose and lavender. 



THE RISING OF 1776. 273 

The pastor came : his snowy locks 

Hallow'd his brow of thought and care ; 
And calmly, as shepherds lead their flocks, 

He led into the house of prayer. 
Then soon he rose ; the prayer was strong ; 
The Psalm was warrior David's song ; 
The text, a few short words of might — 
" The Lord of hosts shall arm the right ! " 
He spoke of wrongs too long endured, 
Of sacred rights to be secured ; 
Then from his patriot tongue of flame 
The startling words for Freedom came. 
The stirring sentences he spake 
Compell'd the heart to glow or quake, 
And, rising on his theme's broad wing, 

And grasping in his nervous hand 

Th' imaginary battle-brand, 
In face of death he dared to fling- 
Defiance to a tyrant king. 

Even as he spoke, his frame, renew'd 

In eloquence of attitude, 

Rose, as it seem'cl, a shoulder higher ; 

Then swept his kindling glance of fire 

From startled pew to breathless choir ; 

When suddenly his mantle wide 

His hands impatient flung aside, 

And, lo ! he met their wondering eyes 

Complete in all a warrior's guise. 

♦ 
A moment there was awful pause, 

When Berkley cried, "Cease, traitor! cease! 

God's temple is the house of peace ! " 

The other shouted, " Nay, not so, 

When God is with our righteous cause ; 

His holiest places then are ours, 

His temples are our forts and towers 



274 CHOICE READINGS. 

That frown upon the tyrant foe ; 
In this, the dawn of Freedom's day, 
There is a time to fight and praj r ! " 

And now before the open door — 

The warrior priest had order' d so — 
Th' enlisting trumpet's sudden roar 
Rang through the chapel, o'er and o'er, 

Its long reverberating blow, 
So loud and clear, it seem'cl the ear 
Of dusty death must wake and hear. 

And there the startling drum and fife 
Fired the living with fiercer life ; 
While overhead, with wild increase, 
Forgetting its ancient toll of peace, 

The great bell swung as ne'er before : 
It seem'd as it would never cease ; 
And every word its ardour flung 
From off its jubilant iron tongue 

Was, "War! War! WAR!" 

" Who dares " — this was the patriot's cry, 
As striding from the desk he came — 
" Come out with me, in Freedom's name, 

For her to live, for her to die ? " 

A hundred hands flung up reply, 

A hundred voices answer'd, " I ! " 

EEPLY TO ME. COKEY. 

H. Grattan. 

Has the gentleman done ? Has he completely done ? 
He was unparliamentary from the beginning to the end 
of his speech. There was scarce a word he uttered that 
was not a violation of the privileges of the House. But 



REPLY TO MR. CORRY. 275 

I did not call him to order, — why ? because the 
limited talents of some men render it impossible for 
them to be severe without being unparliamentary. But 
before I sit down I shall show him how to be severe and 
parliamentary at the same time. 

On any other occasion, I should think myself justifi- 
able in treating with silent contempt anything which 
might fall from that honourable member ; but there are 
times when the insignificance of the accuser is lost in 
the magnitude of the accusation. I know the difficulty 
the honourable gentleman laboured under when he 
attacked me, conscious that, on a comparative view of 
our characters, public and private, there is nothing he 
could say which would injure me. The public would 
not believe the charge. I despise the falsehood. If 
such a charge were made by an honest man, I would 
answer it in the manner I shall do before I sit down. 
But I shall first reply to it when not made by an honest 
man. 

The right-honourable gentleman has called me "an 
unimpeached traitor." I ask why not "traitor," un- 
qualified b} r any epithet ? I will tell him : it was 
because he durst not. It was the act of a coward, who 
raises his arm to strike, but has not courage to give the 
blow. I will not call him villain, because it would be 
unparliamentary, and he is a Privy Counsellor. I will 
not call him fool, because he happens to be Chancellor 
of the Exchequer. But I say, he is one who has abused 
the privilege of parliament and the freedom of debate, 
by uttering language which, if spoken out of the House, 
I should answer only with a blow. I care not how high 
his situation, how low his character, how contemptible 
his speech ; whether a Privy Counsellor or a parasite, 
my answer would be a blow. 



276 CHOICE READINGS. 

He has charged me with being connected with the 
rebels. The charge is utterly, totally, and meanly false. 
Does the honourable gentleman rely on the report of 
the House of Lords for the foundation of his assertion ? 
If he does, I can prove to the committee there was a 
physical impossibility of that report being true. But I 
scorn to answer any man for my conduct, whether he 
be a political coxcomb, or whether he brought himself 
into power by a false glare of courage or not. 

I have returned, — not, as the right-honourable mem- 
ber has said, to raise another storm, — I have returned 
to discharge an honourable debt of gratitude to my 
country, that conferred a great reward for past services, 
which, I am proud to say, was not greater than my 
desert. I have returned to protect that Constitution of 
which I was the parent and founder, from the assassi- 
nation of such men as the right-honourable gentleman 
and his unworthy associates. They are corrupt, they 
are seditious, and they, at this very moment, are in a 
conspiracy against their country. I have returned to 
refute a libel, as false as it is malicious, given to the 
public under the appellation of a report of the committee 
of the Lords. Here I stand, ready for impeachment or 
trial. I dare accusation. I defy the honourable gen- 
tleman ; I defy the Government; I defy their whole 
phalanx : let them come forth ! I tell the Ministers, I 
will neither give quarter nor take it. I am here to lay 
the shattered remains of my constitution on the floor of 
this house, in defence of the liberties of my country. 



WISDOM DEARLY PURCHASED. 277 

WISDOM DEAKLY PUKCHASED. 

Edmund Burke. 

The British Parliament, in a former session, fright- 
ened into a limited concession by the menaces of Ireland, 
frightened out of it by the menaces of England, was now 
frightened back again, and made an universal surrender 
of all that had been thought the peculiar, reserved, un- 
communicable rights of England. Xo reserve, no excep- 
tion ; no debate, no discussion. A sudden light broke 
in upon us all. It broke in, not through well-contrived 
and well-disposed windows, but through flaws and 
breaches, — through the yawning chasms of our ruin. 
We were taught wisdom by humiliation. No town in 
England presumed to have a prejudice, or dared to 
mutter a petition. What was worse, the whole Parlia- 
ment of England, which retained authority for nothing 
but surrenders, was despoiled of every shadow of its 
superintendence. It was, without any qualification, 
denied in theory, as it had been trampled upon in prac- 
tice. 

What, Gentlemen ! was I not to foresee, or, foresee- 
ing, was I not to endeavour to save you from all these 
multiplied mischiefs and disgraces ? Would the little, 
silly, canvass prattle of obeying instructions, and having 
no opinions but yours, and such idle, senseless tales, 
which amuse the vacant ears of unthinking men, have 
saved you from " the pelting of that pitiless storm " to 
which the loose improvidence, the cowardly rashness, 
of those who dare not look danger in the face so as to 
provide against it in time, and therefore throw them- 
selves headlong into the midst of it, have exposed this 
degraded nation, beat down and prostrate on the earth, 
unsheltered, unarmed, unresisting ? Was I an Irishman 



278 CHOICE READINGS. 

on that day that I boldly withstood our pride ? or on 
the day that I hung' down my head, and wept in shame 
and silence over the humiliation of Great Britain ? I 
became unpopular in England for the one, and in Ire- 
land for the other. What then ? What obligation lay 
on me to be popular? I was bound to serve both king- 
doms. To be pleased with my service was their affair, 
not mine. 

I was an Irishman in the Irish business, just as much 
as I was an American, when, on the same principles, I 
wished you to concede to America at a time when she 
prayed concession at our feet. Just as much was I an 
American, when I wished Parliament to offer terms in 
victory, and not to wait the ill-chosen hour of defeat, 
for making good by weakness and by supplication a 
claim of prerogative, preeminence, and authority. 

Instead of requiring it from me, as a point of duty, to 
kindle with your passions, had you all been as cool as I 
was, you would have been saved disgraces and distresses 
that are unutterable. Do you remember our commis- 
sion ? We sent out a solemn embassy across the Atlan- 
tic Ocean, to lay the crown, the peerage, the commons 
of Great Britain at the feet of the American Congress. 
That our disgrace might want no sort of brightening and 
burnishing, observe who they were that composed this 
famous embassy. My Lord Carlisle is among the first 
ranks of our nobility. He is the identical man who, 
but two years before, had been put forward, at the 
opening of a session, in the House of Lords, as the 
mover of an haughty and rigorous address against 
America. He was put in the front of the embassy of 
submission. Mr. Eden was taken from the office of 
Lord Suffolk, to whom he was then Under-Secretary of 
State, - — from the office of that Lord Suffolk who but a 



WISDOM DEARLY PURCHASED. 279 

few weeks before, in his place in Parliament, did not 
deign to inquire where a congress of vagrants was to 
be found. 

They enter the capital of America only to abandon 
it ; and these assertors and representatives of the dig- 
nity of England, at the tail of a flying army, let fly 
their Parthian shafts of memorials and remonstrances 
at random behind them. Their promises and their 
offers, their flatteries and their menaces, were all 
despised ; and we were saved the disgrace of their for- 
mal reception only because the Congress scorned to 
receive them ; whilst the State-house of independent 
Philadelphia opened her doors to the public entry of 
the ambassador of France. From war and blood we 
went to submission, and from submission plunged back 
again to war and blood, to desolate and be desolated, 
without measure, hope, or end. I am a Royalist : I 
blushed for this degradation of the Crown. I am a 
Whig: I blushed for the dishonour of Parliament. I 
am a true Englishman: I felt to the quick for the dis- 
grace of England. I am a man : I felt for the melan- 
choly reverse of human affairs in the fall of the first 
power in the world. 

To read what was approaching in Ireland, in the 
black and bloody characters of the American war, was 
a painful, but it was a necessary part of my public duty. 
For, Gentlemen, it is not your fond desires or mine 
that can alter the nature of things ; by contending 
against which, what have we got, or ever shall get, but 
defeat and shame? I did not obey your instructions. 
No. I conformed to the instructions of truth and Na- 
ture, and maintained your interest, against your opin- 
ions, with a constancy that became me. A representa- 
tive worthy of you ought to be a person of stability. 



280 CHOICE READINGS. 

I am to look, indeed, to your opinions, — but to such 
opinions as you and I must have five years hence. I 
was not to look to the flash of the day. I knew that 
you chose me, in my place, along with others, to be a 
pillar of the State, and not a weathercock on the top 
of the edifice, exalted for my levity and versatility, and 
of no use but to indicate the shiftings of every fash- 
ionable gale. Would to God the value of my senti- 
ments on Ireland and on America had been at this day 
a subject of doubt and discussion ! No matter what my 
sufferings had been, so that this kingdom had kept the 
authority I wished it to maintain, by a grave foresight, 
and by an equitable temperance in the use of its power. 



>o^c 



"MATCHES ATO OVERMATCHES." 

Daniel Webster. 

But the gentleman inquires why he was made the 
object of such a reply. Why was he singled out ? If 
an attack has been made on the East, he, he assures us, 
did not begin it : it was made by the gentleman from 
Missouri. Sir, I answered the gentleman's speech 
because I happened to hear it ; and because, also, I 
chose to give an answer to that speech which, if un- 
answered, I thought most likely to produce injurious 
impressions. I did not stop to inquire who was the 
original drawer of the bill. I found a responsible in- 
dorser before me, and it was my purpose to hold him 
liable, and to bring him to his just responsibility with- 
out delay. But, Sir, this interrogatory of the honoura- 
ble member was only introductory to another. He pro- 
ceeded to ask me whether I had turned upon him, in 
this debate, from the consciousness that I should find 



4 * MATCHES AND OVERMATCHES." 281 

an overmatch, if I ventured on a contest with his friend 
from Missouri. 

If, Sir, the honourable member, modestice gratia, had 
chosen thus to defer to his friend, and to pay him a com- 
pliment, without intentional disparagement to others, 
it would have been quite according to the friendly 
courtesies of debate, and not at all ungrateful to my 
oavu feelings. I am not one of those, Sir, who esteem 
any tribute of regard, whether light and occasional, or 
more serious and deliberate, which may be bestowed on 
others, as so much unjustly withholden from themselves. 
But the tone and manner of the gentleman's question 
forbid me thus to interpret it. I am not at liberty to 
consider it as nothing more than a civility to his friend. 
It had an air of taunt and disparagement, something of 
the loftiness of asserted superiority, which does not 
allow me to pass it over without notice. It was put as 
a question for me to answer, and so put as if it were 
difficult for me to answer, whether I deemed the mem- 
ber from Missouri an overmatch for myself in debate 
here. It seems to me, Sir, that this is extraordinary 
language, and an extraordinary tone, for the discussions 
of this body. 

Matches and overmatches ! Those terms are more 
applicable elsewhere than here, and fitter for other 
assemblies than this. Sir, the gentleman seems to for- 
get where and what we are. This is a Senate, a Senate 
of equals, of men of individual honour and personal 
character, and of absolute independence. "We know no 
masters, we acknowledge no dictators. This is a hall 
for mutual consultation and discussion ; not an arena 
for the exhibition of champions. I offer myself, Sir. as 
a match for no man : I throw the challenge of debate 
at no man's feet. But then, Sir, since the honourable 



282 CHOICE READINGS. 

member has put the question in a manner that calls 
for an answer, I will give him an answer ; and I tell 
him that, holding myself to be the humblest of the 
members here, I yet know nothing in the arm of his 
friend from Missouri, either alone or when aided by the 
arm of his friend from South Carolina, that need deter 
even me from espousing whatever opinions I may choose 
to espouse, from debating whenever I may choose to 
debate, or from speaking whatever I may see fit to say, 
on the floor of the Senate. 

Sir, when uttered as matter of commendation or com- 
pliment, I should dissent from nothing which the hon- 
ourable member might say of his friend. Still less do I 
put forth any pretensions of my own. But, when put 
to me as matter of taunt, I throw it back, and say to 
the gentleman that he could possibly say nothing more 
likely than such a comparison to wound my pride of 
personal character. The anger of its tone rescued the 
remark from intentional irony, which otherwise, proba- 
bly, would have been its general acceptation. But, Sir, 
if it be imagined that by this mutual quotation and 
commendation ; if it be supposed that, by casting the 
characters of the drama, assigning to each his part, to 
one the attack, to another the cry of onset ; or if it be 
thought that, by a loud and empty vaunt of anticipated 
victory, any laurels are to be won here ; if it be imag- 
ined, especially, that any, or all these things will shake 
any purpose of mine, I can tell the honourable mem- 
ber, once for all, that he is greatly mistaken, and that 
he is dealing with one of whose temper and character 
he has yet much to learn. 

Sir, I shall not allow myself, on this occasion, I hope 
on no occasion, to be betrayed into any loss of temper : 
but, if provoked, as I trust I never shall be, into crimi- 



EULOGY ON LAFAYETTE. 283 

nation and recrimination, the honourable member may 
perhaps find that, in that contest, there will be blows to 
take as well as blows to give ; that others can state 
comparisons as significant, at least, as his own ; and 
that his impunity may possibly demand of him whatever 
powers of taunt and sarcasm he may possess. I commend 
him to a prudent husbandry of his resources. 

EULOGY ON LAFAYETTE. 

Edward Everett. 

There have been those who have denied to Lafayette 
the name of a great man. What is greatness? Does 
goodness belong to greatness, and make an essential 
part of it ? If it does, who, I would ask, of all the 
prominent names in history, has run through such a 
career with so little reproach, justly or unjustly be- 
stowed? Are military courage and conduct the meas- 
ure of greatness? Lafayette was intrusted by Wash- 
ington with all kinds of service, — the laborious and 
complicated, which required skill and patience ; the 
perilous, that demanded nerve , and we see him per- 
forming all with entire success and brilliant reputation. 
Is the readiness to meet vast responsibilities a proof of 
greatness ? The memoirs of Mr. Jefferson show us that 
there was a moment, in 1789, when Lafayette took upon 
himself, as the head of the militar}^ force, the entire 
responsibility of laying down the basis of the Revolu- 
tion. Is the cool and brave administration of gigantic 
power a mark of greatness ? In all the whirlwind of 
the Revolution, and when, as commander-in-chief of the 
National Guard, an organized force of three millions of 
men, who, for any popular purpose, needed but a word, 



284 



CHOICE HEADINGS. 



a look, to put them in motion, we behold him ever 
calm, collected, disinterested; as free from affectation 
as selfishness ; clothed not less with humility than with 
power. Is the voluntary return, in advancing years, to 
the direction of affairs, at a moment like that when, in 
1815, the ponderous machinery of the French Empire 
was flying asunder, — stunning, rending, crushing thou- 
sands on every side, — a mark of greatness? Lastly, 
is it any proof of greatness, to be able, at the age of 
seventy-three, to take the lead in a successful and blood- 
less revolution; to change the dynasty; to organize, 
exercize, and abdicate a military command of three and 
a half millions of men ; to take up, to perform, and lay 
down the most, momentous, delicate, and perilous duties, 
without passion, without hurry, without selfishness? 
Is it great to disregard the bribes of title, office, money ; 
to live, to labour, and suffer for great public ends alone ; 
to adhere to principle under all circumstances ; to stand 
before Europe and America conspicuous, for sixty years, 
in the most responsible stations, the acknowledged ad- 
miration of all good men? 

But it is more than time, fellow-citizens, that I com- 
mit the memory of this great and good man to your 
unprompted contemplation. On his arrival among you, 
ten years ago, when your civil fathers, your military, 
your children, your whole population, poured itself out, 
in one throng, to salute him ; when your cannons pro- 
claimed his advent with joyous salvos, and your accla- 
mations were answered, from steeple to steeple, by 
festal bells, — with what delight did you not listen to 
his cordial and affectionate words, — "I beg of you all, 
beloved citizens of Boston, to accept the respectful and 
warm thanks of a heart which has for nearly half a cen- 
tury been devoted to youi» illustrious city ! " 



EULOGY ON LAFAYETTE. 285 

That noble heart, — to which, if any object on Earth 
was dear, that object was the country of his early choice, 
of his adoption, and his more than regal triumph, — 
that noble heart will beat no more for your welfare. 
Cold and still, it is already mingling with the dust. 
While he lived, you thronged with delight to his pres- 
ence ; you gazed with admiration on his placid features 
and venerable form, not wholly unshaken by the rude 
storms of his career ; and now, that he has departed, you 
have assembled in this cradle of the liberties for which, 
with your fathers, he risked his life, to pay the last hon- 
ours to his memory. You have thrown open these con- 
secrated portals to admit the lengthened train, which 
has come to discharge the last public offices of respect 
to his name. You have hung these venerable arches, 
for the second time since their erection, with the sable 
badges of sorrow. You have thus associated the mem- 
ory of Lafayette in those distinguished honours, which 
but a few years since you paid to your Adams and Jeff- 
erson. 

There is not, throughout the world, a friend of liberty 
who has not dropped his head when he has heard that 
Lafayette is no more. Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain, 
Ireland, the South American republics, — every country 
where man is struggling to recover his birthright, — 
have lost a benefactor, a patron in Lafayette. And 
what was it, fellow-citizens, which gave to our Lafayette 
his spotless fame ? The love of liberty. What has con- 
secrated his memory in the hearts of good men ? The 
love of liberty. What nerved his youthful arm with 
strength, and inspired him, in the morning of his days, 
with sagacity and counsel? The living love of liberty. 
To what did he sacrifice power, and rank, and country, 
and freedom itself ? To the horror of licentiousness, — 



286 CHOICE READINGS. 

— to the sanctity of plighted faith, — to the love of lib- 
erty protected by law. Thus the great principle of 
your Revolutionary fathers, and of your Pilgrim sires, 
wa^ the rule of his life, — the love of liberty protected by 
law. 

You have now assembled within these celebrated 
walls, to perform the last duties of respect and love, on 
the birthday of your benefactor. The spirit of the 
departed is in high communion with the spirit of the 
place, — the temple worthy of the new name which we 
now behold inscribed on its walls. Listen, Americans, 
to the lesson which seems borne to us on the very air 
we breathe, while we perform these dutiful rites ! Ye 
winds, that wafted the Pilgrims to the land of promise, 
fan, in their children's hearts, the love of freedom ! 
Blood, which our fathers shed, cry from the ground ! 
Echoing arches of this renowned hall, whisper back the 
voices of other days ! Glorious Washington, break the 
long silence of that votive canvas ! Speak, speak, mar- 
ble lips; teach us the love of liberty protected 

BY LAW. 

BIENZTS ADDKESS TO THE EOMANS. 

Miss M. R. Mitford. 

Friends, I come not here to talk. Ye know too well 

The story of our thraldom ; — we are slaves ! 

The bright Sun rises to his course, and lights 

A race of slaves ! He sets, and his last beam 

Falls on a slave ! — not such as, swept along 

By the full tide of power, the conqueror leads 

To crimson glory and undying fame ; 

But base, ignoble slaves, — slaves to a horde 

Of petty tyrants, feudal despots, lords, 

Rich in some dozen paltry villages, — 

Strong in some hundred spearmen, — only great 



RlENZl's ADDRESS TO THE ROMANS. 287 

In that strange spell, a name ! Each hour, dark fraud, 

Or open rapine, or protected murder, 

Cries out against them. But this very day, 

An honest man, my neighbour, — there he stands, — 

Was struck — struck like a dog, by one who wore 

The badge of Ursini ! because, forsooth, 

He toss'd not high his reacVy cap in air, 

Nor lifted up his voice in servile shouts, 

At sight of that great ruffian ! Be we men, 

And surfer such dishonour? men, and wash not 

The stain away in blood ? Such shames are common. 

I have known deeper wrongs. I, that speak to you, — 

I had a brother once, — a gracious boy, 

Full of all gentleness, of calmest hope, 

Of sweet and quiet joy ; there was the look 

Of Heaven upon his face, which limners give 

To the beloved disciple. How I loved 

That gracious boy ! Younger 03- fifteen years, 

Brother at once and son ! He left my side, 

A summer bloom on his fair cheeks, a smile 

Parting his innocent lips. In one short hour, 

The pretty, harmless boy was slain ! I saw 

The corse, the mangled corse, and then I cried 

For vengeance ! Eouse, ye Romans ! rouse, ye slaves ! 

Have ye brave sons? Look, in the next fierce brawl, 

To see them die ! Have 3'e daughters fair ? Look 

To see them live, torn from your arms, distain'd, 

Dishonour'd ! and, if ye dare call for justice, 

Be answer'd by the lash ! Yet this is Rome, 

That sat on her seven hills, and from her throne 

Of beauty ruled the world ! Yet we are Romans ! 

Why, in that elder clay, to be a Roman 

Was greater than a king ! — and once again, — 

Hear me, ye walls, that echo'd to the tread 

Of either Brutus ! — once again I swear, 

Th' eternal city shall be free ! her sons 

Shall walk with princes ! 



288 CHOICE READINGS. 

LOOHIEL'S WAENING. 

Thomas Campbell. 

Seer. Lochiel, Lochiel, beware of the doxy 
When the Lowlands shall meet thee in battle array ! 
For a field of the dead rushes red on my sight. 
And the clans of Culloclen are scatter'd in fight : 
The}' rally, they bleed, for their kingdom and crown ; 
Woe, woe, to the riders that trample them down ! 
Proud Cumberland prances, insulting the slain, 
And their hoof-beaten bosoms are trod to the plain. 
But, hark ! through the fast-flashing lightning of war, 
What steed to the desert flies frantic and far? 
'Tis thine, O Glenullm ! whose bride shall await, 
Like a love-lighted watch-fire, all night at the gate. 
A steed comes at morning : no rider is there ; 
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair ! 
Weep, Albin ! to death and captivity led ! 
O, weep ! but thy tears cannot number the dead ; 
For a merciless sword on Culloden shall wave, — 
Culloden, that reeks with the blood of the brave ! 

Lochiel. Go preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer ! 
Or, if gor}' Culloden so dreadful appear, 
Draw, dotard, around thy old wavering sight, 
This mantle, to cover the phantoms of fright ! 

Seer. Ha! laughest thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn? 
Proud bird of the mountain, thy plume shall be torn ! 
Say, rush'd the bold eagle exultingly forth 
From his home in the dark-rolling clouds of the North ? 
Lo ! the death-shot of foemen out-speeding, he rode 
Companionless, bearing destruction abroad ; 
But down let him stoop, from his havoc on high ! 
Ah ! home let him speed, — for the spoiler is nigh. 
Wiry flames the far summit? Why shoot to the blast 
Those embers, like stars from the firmament cast? 
'Tis the fire-shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven 



lochiel's warning. 289 

From his eyrie, that beacons the darkness of heaven. 

crested Lochiel ! the peerless in might, 
Whose banners arise on the battlements' height, 
Heaven's fire is around thee, to blast and to burn ; 
Return to thy dwelling ! all lonely return ! 

For the blackness of ashes shall mark where it stood, 
And a wild mother scream o'er her famishing brood ! 

Lochiel. False wizard, avaunt ! I have marshall'd my clan, 
Their swords are a thousand, — their bosoms are one ! 
They are true to the last of their blood and their breath, 
And like reapers descend to the harvest of death. 
Then welcome be Cumberland's steed to the shock ! 
Let him dash his proud foam like a wave on the rock ! 
But woe to his kindred, and woe to his cause, 
When Albin her claymore indignantly draws ! 
When her bonneted chieftains to victory crowd, 
Clanranald the dauntless, and Moray the proud, 
All pi aided and plumed in their tartan array, — 

Seer. Lochiel ! Lochiel ! beware of the day ! 
For, dark and despairing, my sight I may seal, 
But man cannot cover what God would reveal. 
'Tis the sunset of life gives me nrystical lore, 
And coming events cast their shadows before. 

1 tell thee, Culloden's dread echoes shall ring 

With the bloodhounds that bark for thy fugitive king. 

Lo ! anointed by Heaven with the vials of wrath, 

Behold, where he flies on his desolate path ! 

Now in darkness and billows he sweeps from my sight ; 

Rise ! rise ! ye wild tempests, and cover his flight ! — 

'Tis finish'd. Their thunders are hush'cl on the moors, — 

Culloden is lost, and my country deplores. 

But where is the iron-bound prisoner? Where? 

For the red eye of battle is shut in despair. 

Say, mounts he the ocean-wave, banish'd, forlorn, 

Like a limb from his country cast bleeding and torn? 

Ah, no ! for a darker departure is near ; 



290 CHOICE READINGS. 

The war-drum is muffled, and black is the bier ; 
His death-bell is tolling : O mercy, dispel 
Yon sight, that it freezes my spirit to tell ! 
Life flutters, convulsed, in his quivering limbs, 
And his blood-streaming nostril in agony swims ! 
Accursed be the fagots that blaze at his feet, 
Where his heart shall be thrown, ere it ceases to beat, 
With the smoke of its ashes to poison the gale, — 

Lochiel. Down, soothless in suiter ! I trust not the tale ! 
For never shall Albin a destiny meet 
So black with dishonour, so foul with retreat. 
Though my perishing ranks should be strew'd in their gore, 
Like ocean -weeds heap'd on the surf -beaten shore, 
Lochiel, untainted by flight or by chains, 
While the kindling of life in his bosom remains, 
Shall victor exult, or in death be laid low, 
With his back to the field, and his feet to the foe ! 
And, leaving in battle no blot on his name, 
Look proudly to Heaven from the death-bed of fame ! 



3«*K< 



SPEECH IE THE VIKGOTIA C0FVE1TTI0N, 1775. 

Patrick Henry. 

Mr. President, it is natural for man to indulge in 
the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes 
against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that 
siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the 
part of wise men engaged in the great and arduous 
struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the 
number of those who having eyes see not, and having 
ears hear not, the things which so nearly concern thel.; 
temporal salvation ? For my part, whatever anguish of 
spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole 
truth ; to know the worst, and to provide for it. 



SPEECH IN THE VIRGINIA CONVENTION. 291 

I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, 
and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way 
of judging of the future but by the past. And, judging 
by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the 
conduct of the British Ministry for the last ten years 
to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been 
pleased to solace themselves and the House. Is it 
that insidious smile with which our petition has been 
lately received? Trust it not, sir; it will prove a 
snare to your feet. Suffer not yourselves to be be- 
trayed with a kiss. Ask yourselves how this gracious 
reception of our petition comports with those warlike 
preparations which cover our waters and darken our 
land. Are fleets and armies necessary to a work of 
love and reconciliation? Have we shown ourselves so 
unwilling to be reconciled that force must be called in 
to win back our love ? 

Let us not deceive ourselves, sir. These are the 
implements of war and subjugation, the last arguments 
to which kings resort. I ask gentlemen, sir, what 
means this martial array, if its purposes be not to force 
us to submission? Can gentlemen assign any other 
possible motive for it ? Has Great Britain any enemy 
in this quarter of the world to call for all this accumu- 
lation of navies and armies? No, sir, she has none. 
They are meant for us. They can be meant for no 
other. They are sent over to bind and rivet upon us 
those chains which the British Ministry have been so 
long forging. 

And what have we to oppose them ? Shall we try 
argument? Sir, we have been trying that for the last 
ten years. Have we anything new to offer upon the 
subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in 
every light of which it is capable ; but it has been all 



292 CHOICK READINGS. 

in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and supplication ? 
What terms shall we find that have not been already 
exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive 
ourselves longer. Sir, we have done everything that 
could have been done to avert the storm that is 
now coming on. We have petitioned, we have remon- 
strated, we have supplicated, we have prostrated our- 
selves before the throne, and have implored its interpo- 
sition to arrest the tyrannical hands of the Ministry 
and Parliament. 

Our petitions have been slighted, our remonstrances 
have produced additional violence and insult, our sup- 
plications have been disregarded, and we have been 
spurned with contempt from the foot of the throne. 
In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond 
hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer 
any room for hope. If we wish to be free , if we mean 
to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for 
which we have been so long contending ; if we mean 
not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we 
have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged 
ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of 
our contest shall be obtained, we must fight ! I repeat 
it, sir, we must fight ! An appeal to arms and to the 
God of hosts is all that is left us. 

They tell us, sir, that we are weak ; unable to cope 
with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we 
be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next 
year ? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and 
when a British guard shall be stationed in every house ? 
Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction ? 
Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by 
lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive 
phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound 



SPEECH OF VINDICATION. 293 

us hand and foot ? Sir, we are not weak if we make a 
proper use of those means which the God of Nature 
hath placed in our power. 

Three millions of people armed in the holy cause of 
liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, 
are invincible by any force which our enemy can send 
against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles 
alone. There is a just God who presides over the des- 
tinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight 
our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong 
alone : it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Be- 
sides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough 
to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest: 
There is no retreat but in submission and slavery ! 
Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard 
on the plains of Boston ! The war is inevitable, and 
let it come ! I repeat, sir, let it come ! 

It is vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen 
may cry, Peace, peace ! but there is no peace. The 
war is actually begun ! The next gale that sweeps 
from the North will bring to our ears the clash of 
resounding arms ! Our brethren are already in the 
field! Why stand we here idle?. What is it that gen- 
tlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, 
or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of 
chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I 
know not what course others may take, but as for me, 
give me liberty or give me death ! 

SPEECH OP VINDICATION. 

Robert Emmett. 

My Lords: What have I to say why sentence of 
death should not be pronounced on me, according to 



294 CHOICE READINGS. 

law ? — I have nothing to say that can alter your pre- 
determination, nor that it will become me to say, with 
any view to the mitigation of that sentence which you 
are here to pronounce, and I must abide by. But I 
have that to say which interests me more than life, 
and which you have laboured to destroy. I have much 
to say, why my reputation should be rescued from the 
load of false accusation and calumny which has been 
heaped upon it. 

Were I only to suffer death, after being adjudged 
guilty by your tribunal, I should bow in silence, and 
meet the fate that awaits me without a murmur. The 
man dies, but his memory lives. That mine may not 
perish, — that it may live in the respect of my country- 
men, — I seize upon this opportunity to vindicate my- 
self from some of the charges alleged against me. 

I swear, by the throne of Heaven, before which I 
must shortly appear, — by the blood of the murdered 
patriots who have gone before me, — that my conduct 
has been, through all this peril, and all my purposes, 
governed only by the convictions which I have uttered, 
and no other view than that of the emancipation of 
my country from the superinhuman oppression under 
which she has so long, and too patiently, travailed ; 
and that I confidently and assuredly hope, wild and 
chimerical as it may appear, that there is still union 
and strength in Ireland to accomplish this noble en- 
terprise. 

Let no man dare, when I am dead, to charge me with 
dishonour ; let no man attaint my memory by believing 
that I could have engaged in any cause but that of my 
country's liberty and independence ; or that I could 
have become the pliant minion of power, in the oppres- 
sion or the miseries of my countrymen. I would not 



SPEECH OF VINDICATION. 295 

have submitted to a foreign oppressor, for the same 
reason that I would resist the domestic tyrant ; in the 
dignity of freedom, I would have fought upon the 
threshold of my country, and her enemies should enter 
only by passing over my lifeless corpse. Am I, who 
lived but for my country, and who have subjected my- 
self to the vengeance of the jealous and wrathful 
oppressor, and to the bondage of the grave, only to 
give my countrymen their rights, — am I to be loaded 
with calumny, and not to be suffered to resent or repel 
it? No! — God forbid! 

If the spirits of the illustrious dead participate in 
the concerns and cares of those who are dear to them 
in this transitory life, — O ever dear and venerated 
shade of my departed father, look down with scrutiny 
on the conduct of your suffering son ; and see if I have 
even for a moment deviated from those principles of 
morality and patriotism which it was your care to instil 
into my youthful mind, and for an adherence to which 
I am now to offer up my life ! 

My Lords, you are all impatient for the sacrifice. 
The blood which you seek is not congealed by the arti- 
ficial terrors which surround your victim ; it circulates 
warmly and unruffled, through the channels which God 
created for noble purposes, but which you are bent to 
destroy, for purposes so grievous that they cry to 
Heaven ! Be yet patient ! I have but a few words 
more to say. I am going to my silent grave ; my lamp 
of life is nearly extinguished ; my race is run ; the 
grave opens to receive me, and I sink into its bosom. 
I have but one request to ask at my departure from 
this world, — it is the charity of its silence. Let no 
man write my epitaph ; for, as no one who knows my 
motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or 



296 CHOICE READINGS. 

ignorance asperse them. Let them and me repose in 
obscurity and peace, and my tomb remain uninscribed, 
until other times, and other men, can do justice to my 
character. When my country shall take her place 
among the nations of the Earth, then, and not till then, 
let my epitaph be written ! I have done. 



>^< 



APPEAL IN BEHALF OF IEELAND. 

S. S. Prentiss. 

Fellow-citizens : It is no ordinary cause that has 
brought together this vast assemblage. We have met, 
not to prepare ourselves for political contests ; we have 
met, not to celebrate the achievements of those gallant 
men who have planted our victorious standards in the 
heart of an enemy's country ; we have assembled, not to 
respond to shouts of triumph from the West ; but to 
answer the cry of want and suffering which comes from 
the East. The Old World stretches out her arms to the 
New. The starving parent supplicates the young and 
vigorous child for bread. 

There lies upon the other side of the wide Atlantic a 
beautiful island, famous in story and in song. Its area 
is not so great as that of the State of Louisiana, while 
its population is almost half that of the Union. It has 
given to the world more than its share of genius and of 
greatness. It has been prolific in statesmen, warriors, 
and poets. Its brave and generous sons have fought 
successfully all battles but their own. In wit and hu- 
mour it has no equal; while its harp, like its history, 
moves to tears by its sweet but melancholy pathos. 

Into this fair region God has seen fit to send the most 
terrible of all those fearful ministers that fulfil His 



APPEAL IN BEHALF OF IRELAND. 297 

inscrutable decrees. The earth has failed to give her 
increase. The common mother has forgotten her off- 
spring, and she no longer affords them their accustomed 
nourishment. Famine, gaunt and ghastly famine, has 
seized a nation with its strangling grasp. Unhappy 
Ireland, in the sad woes of the present, forgets, for a 
moment, the gloomy history of the past. 

O, it is terrible that, in this beautiful world which 
the good God has given us, and in which there is plenty 
for us all, men should die of starvation ! When a man 
dies of disease he alone endures the pain. Around his 
pillow are gathered sympathizing friends, who, if they 
cannot keep back the deadly messenger, cover his face 
and conceal the horrors of his visage as he delivers his 
stern mandate. In battle, in the fullness of his pride 
and strength, little recks the soldier whether the hissing 
bullet sings his sudden requiem, or the cords of life are 
severed by the sharp steel. 

But he who dies of hunger wrestles alone, day by day, 
with his grim and unrelenting enemy. He has no 
friends to cheer him in the terrible conflict; for, if he 
had friends, how could he die of hunger ? He has not 
the hot blood of the soldier to maintain him ; for his 
foe, vampire-like, has exhausted his veins. Famine 
comes not up, like a brave enemy, storming, by a sud- 
den onset, the fortress that resists. Famine besieges. 
He draws his lines round the doomed garrison. He 
cuts off all supplies. He never summons to surrender, 
for he gives no quarter. 

Alas, for poor human nature ! how can it sustain this 
fearful warfare? Day by day the blood recedes, the 
flesh deserts, the muscles relax, and the sinews grow 
powerless. At last the mind, which at first had bravely 
nerved itself against the contest, gives way under the 



298 CHOICE READINGS. 

mysterious influences which govern its union with the 
body. Then the victim begins to doubt the existence 
of an overruling Providence. He hates his fellow-men, 
and glares upon them with the longing of a cannibal ; 
and, it may be, dies blaspheming. 

This is one of those cases in which we may without 
impiety assume, as it were, the function of Providence. 
Who knows but that one of the very objects of this 
calamity is to test the benevolence and worthiness of 
us upon whom unlimited abundance is showered? In 
the name, then, of common humanity, I invoke your 
aid in behalf of starving Ireland. Give generously and 
freely. Recollect that in so doing you are exercising 
one of the most God-like qualities of your nature, and 
at the same time enjoying one of the greatest luxuries 
of life. Go home and look at your family, smiling in 
rosy health, and then think of the pale, famine-pinched 
cheeks of the poor children of Ireland ; and I know you 
will give, according to your store, even as a bountiful 
Providence has given to you, — not grudgingly, but 
with an open hand. He who is able, and will not aid 
such a cause, is not a man, and has no right to wear 
the form. He should be sent back to Nature's mint, and 
re-issued as a counterfeit on humanity of Nature's baser 
metal. 

AMBITION OP A STATESMAN. 

Henry Clay. 

I have been accused of ambition in presenting this 
measure, — ambition, inordinate ambition. If I had 
thought of myself only I should have never brought 
it forward. I know well the perils to which I expose 
myself, — the risk of alienating faithful and valued 



AMBITION OF A STATESMAN. 299 

friends, with but little prospect of making new ones, 
if any new ones could compensate for the loss of those 
we have long tried and loved ; and I know well the 
honest misconception both of friends and foes. Ambi- 
tion ! If I had listened to its soft and seducing whis- 
pers, if I had yielded myself to the dictates of a cold, 
calculating, and prudential policy, I would have stood 
still and unmoved. I might even have silently gazed 
on the raging storm, enjoyed its loudest thunders, and 
left those who are charged with the care of the vessel 
of State to conduct it as they could. 

I have been heretofore often unjustly accused of 
ambition. Low, grovelling souls, who are utterly inca- 
pable of elevating themselves to the higher and nobler 
duties of pure patriotism, — beings who, forever keep- 
ing their own selfish ends in view, decide all public 
measures by their presumed influence on their aggran- 
dizement, — jndge me by the venal rule which they pre- 
scribe to themselves. I have given to the winds those 
false accusations, as I consign that which now im- 
peaches my motives. I have no desire for office, not 
even the highest. The most exalted is but a prison, in 
which the incarcerated incumbent daily receives his 
cold, heartless visitants, marks his weary hours, and is 
cut off from the practical enjoyment of all the bless- 
ings of genuine freedom. 

I am no candidate for any office in the gift of the 
people of these States, united or separated, I never 
wish, never expect, to be. Pass this bill, tranquillize 
the country, restore confidence and affection in the 
Union, and I am willing to go home to Ashland and 
renounce public service forever. I should there find 
in its groves, under its shades, on its lawns, 'mid my 
flocks and herds, in the bosom of my family, sincerity 



300 CHOICE READINGS. 

and truth, attachment and fidelity and gratitude, which 
I have not always found in the walks of public life. 
Yes, I have ambition ; but it is the ambition of being 
the humble instrument, in the hands of Providence, to 
reconcile a divided people ; once more to revive con- 
cord and harmony in a distracted land, — the pleasing 
ambition of contemplating the glorious spectacle of a 
free, united, prosperous, and fraternal people. 

VALUE OF EEPUTATIOff. 

Charles Phillips. 

Who shall estimate the cost of a priceless reputa- 
tion, that impress which gives this human dross its 
currency, without which we stand despised, debased, 
depreciated? Who shall repair it if injured? Who 
can redeem it if lost? O, well and truly does the 
great philosopher of poetry esteem the world's wealth 
as " trash " in the comparison ! Without it gold has 
no value ; birth, no distinction ; station, no dignity ; 
beauty, no charm; age, no reverence. Without it 
every treasure impoverishes, every grace deforms, 
every dignity degrades, and all the arts, the decora- 
tions, and accomplishments of life stand, like the bea- 
con-blaze upon a rock, warning the world that its 
approach is dangerous, that its contact is death. 

The wretch without it is under eternal quarantine ; 
no friend to greet, no home to harbour him. The voyage 
of his life becomes a joyless peril ; and in the midst of 
all ambition can achieve, or avarice amass, or rapacity 
plunder, he tosses on the surge, a buoyant pestilence. 
But let me not degrade into the selfishness of individual 
safety or individual exposure this universal principle ; 
it testifies a higher, a more ennobling origin. 



VALUE OF REPUTATION. 301 

It is this which, consecrating the humble circle of 
the hearth, will at times extend itself to the circum- 
ference of the horizon, which nerves the arm of the 
patriot to save his country, which lights the lamp of 
the philosopher to amend man, which, if it does not 
inspire, will at least invigorate, the martyr to merit 
immortality, which, when one world's agony is passed, 
and the glory of another is dawning, will prompt the 
prophet, even in his chariot of fire, and in his vision of 
Heaven, to bequeath to mankind the mantle of his 
memory! O, divine, O, delightful legacy of a spot- 
less reputation ! Rich is the inheritance it leaves ; 
pious the example it testifies ; pure, precious, and im- 
perishable the example it inspires ! 

Can there be conceived a more atrocious injury than 
to filch from its possessor this inestimable jewel, to rob 
society of its charm and solitude of its solace ; not only 
to outlaw life, but to attaint death, converting the very 
grave, the refuge of the sufferer, into the gate of infamy 
and shame ? I can conceive few crimes beyond it. He 
who plunders my property takes from me that which 
can be repaired by time ; but what period can repair a 
ruined reputation? He who maims my person affects 
that which medicine may remedy ; but what herb has 
sovereignty over the wounds of slander? He who ridi- 
cules my poverty, or reproaches my profession, upbraids 
me with that which industry may retrieve and integrity 
may purify; but what riches shall redeem the bank- 
rupt fame ? What power shall blanch the sullied snow 
of character? There can be no injury more deadly. 
There can be no crime more cruel. It is without 
remedy. It is without antidote. It is without eva- 
sion. 

The reptile, calumny, is ever on the watch. From 



302 CHOICE READINGS. 

the fascination of its eye no activity can escape ; from 
the venom of its fang no sanity can recover. It has no 
enjoyment but crime ; it has no prey but virtue ; it has 
no interval from the restlessness of its malice, save 
when, bloated with its victims, it grovels to disgorge 
them at the withered shrine where envy idolizes her 
own infirmities. 

TOUSSADTT L'OUVEETURE. 

Wendell Phillips. 

If I were to tell you the story of Napoleon, I should 
take it from the lips of Frenchmen, who find no lan- 
guage rich enough to paint the great captain of the 
nineteenth century. Were I to tell you the story of 
Washington, I should take it from your hearts, — you, 
who think no marble white enough on which to carve 
the name of the Father of his country. But I am to 
tell you the story of a negro, Toussaint L'Ouverture, 
who has left hardly one written line. I am to glean it 
from the reluctant testimony of his enemies, men who 
despised him because he was a negro and a slave, hated 
him because he had beaten them in battle. 

Cromwell manufactured his own army. Napoleon, 
at the age of twenty-seven, was placed at the head of 
the best troops Europe ever saw. Cromwell never saw 
an army till he was forty ; this man never saw a soldier 
till he was fifty. Cromwell manufactured his own 
army — out of what ? Englishmen, — the best blood in 
Europe. Out of the middle class of Englishmen, — the 
best blood of the island. And with it he conquered 
what? Englishmen, — their equals. This man manu- 
factured his army out of what ? Out of what you call 
the despicable race of negroes, debased, demoralized by 



toussaint l'ouvertuke. 303 

two hundred years of slavery, one hundred thousand of 
them imported into the island within four years, unable 
to speak a dialect intelligible even to each other. Yet 
out of this mixed, and, as you say, despicable mass he 
forged a thunderbolt and hurled it at what ? At the 
proudest blood in Europe, the Spaniard, and sent him 
home conquered ; at the most warlike blood in Europe, 
the French, and put them under his feet ; at the pluck- 
iest blood in Europe, the English, and they skulked 
home to Jamaica. Now, if Cromwell was a general, at 
least this man was a soldier. 

Now, blue-eyed Saxon, proud of your race, go back 
with me to the commencement of the century, and 
select what statesman you please. Let him be either 
American or European ; let him have a brain the result 
of six generations of culture ; let him have the ripest 
training of university routine ; let him add to it the 
better education of practical life ; crown his temples 
with the silver locks of seventy years, and show me the 
man of Saxon lineage for whom his most sanguine ad- 
mirer will wreathe a laurel, rich as embittered foes have 
placed on the brow of this negro, - — rare military skill, 
profound knowledge of human nature, content to blot 
out all party distinctions, and trust a State to the blood 
of its sons, — anticipating Sir Robert Peel fifty years, 
and taking his station by the side of Roger Williams, 
before any Englishman or American had won the right ; 
and yet this is the record which the history of rival 
States makes up for this inspired black of St. Domingo. 

Some doubt the courage of the negro. Go to Hayti, 
and stand on those fifty thousand graves of the best 
soldiers France ever had, and ask them what they think 
of the negro's sword. 

I would call him Napoleon, but Napoleon made his 



304 CHOICE READINGS. 

« 

way to empire over broken oaths and through a sea of 
blood. This man never broke his word. I would call 
him Cromwell, but Cromwell was only a soldier, and 
the State he founded went down with him into his 
grave. I would call him Washington, but the great 
Virginian held slaves. This man risked his empire 
rather than permit the slave-trade in the humblest 
village of his dominions. 

You think me a fanatic, for you read history, not 
with your eyes but with your prejudices. But fifty 
years hence, when Truth gets a hearing, the Muse of 
history will put Phocion for the Greek, Brutus for the 
Roman, Hampden for England, Fayette for France, 
choose Washington as the bright consummate flower of 
our earlier civilization, then, dipping her pen in the 
sunlight, will write in the clear blue, above them all, 
the name of the soldier, the statesman, the martyr, 

TOUSSAINT L'OlTVERTUEE. 



>:*£ 



MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTH CAROLINA. 

Daniel Webster. 

I shall not acknowledge that the honourable mem- 
ber goes before me in regard for whatever of distin- 
guished talent, or distinguished character, South Caro- 
lina has produced. I claim part of the honour, I 
partake in the pride, of her great names. I claim them 
for countrymen, one and all; the Laurenses, the Rut- 
ledges, the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Marions, 
Americans all, whose fame is no more to be hemmed in 
by State lines, than their talents and patriotism were 
capable of being circumscribed within the same narrow 
limits. In their day and generation, they served and 



MASSACHUSETTS AND SOUTH CAROLINA. 305 

honoured the country, and the whole country ; and 
their renown is of the treasures of the whole country. 
Him whose honoured name the gentleman himself bears, 
— does he esteem me less capable of gratitude for his 
patriotism, or sympathy for his sufferings, than if his 
eyes had first opened upon the light of Massachusetts, 
instead of South Carolina? Sir, does he suppose it in 
his power to exhibit a Carolina name so bright as to 
produce envy in my bosom ? 

No, Sir, increased gratification and delight, rather. I 
thank God that, if I am gifted with little of the spirit 
which is able to raise mortals to the skies, I have yet 
none, as I trust, of that other spirit which would drag 
Angels down. When I shall be found, Sir, in my place 
here in the Senate, or elsewhere, to sneer at public 
merit, because it happens to spring up beyond the little 
limits of my own State or neighbourhood; when I re- 
fuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage 
due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, to sin- 
cere devotion to liberty and the country ; or, if I see 
an uncommon endowment of Heaven, if I see extraor- 
dinary capacity and virtue in any son of the South, and 
if, moved by local prejudice or gangrened by State jeal- 
ousy, I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his 
just character and just fame, may my tongue cleave to 
the roof of my mouth ! 

Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections ; let me in- 
dulge in refreshing remembrance of the past ; let me 
remind you that, in early times, no States cherished 
greater harmony, both of principle and feeling, than 
Massachusetts and South Carolina. \Vould to God that 
harmony might again return ! Shoulder to shoulder 
they went through the Revolution : hand in hand they 
stood round the administration of Washington, and felt 



306 CHOICE READINGS. 

his own great arm lean on them for support. Unkind 
feeling, if it exist, alienation and distrust, are the 
growth, unnatural to such soils, of false principles since 
sown. They are weeds, the seeds of which that same 
great arm never scattered. 

Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon 
Massachusetts ; she needs none. There she is : behold 
her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history ; 
the world knows it by heart. The past, at least, is se- 
cure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, 
and Bunker Hill ; and there they will remain for ever. 
The bones of her sons, falling in the great struggle for 
Independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every 
State from New England to Georgia; and there they 
will lie for ever. And, Sir, where American Liberty 
raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured 
and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its 
manhood and full of its original spirit. If discord and 
disunion shall wound it ; if party strife and blind ambi- 
tion shall hawk at and tear it ; if folly and madness, if 
uneasiness under salutary and necessary restraint, shall 
succeed in separating it from that Union by which alone 
its existence is made sure ; it will stand, in the end, by 
the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked ; 
it will stretch forth its arm, with whatever of vigour it 
may still retain, over the friends who gather round it ; 
and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proud- 
est monuments of its own glory, and on the very spot 
of its origin. 



THE CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE. 



307 



THE CHAKGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE. 



Alfred Tennyson. 



Half a league, half a league, 
Half a league onward, 

All in the valley of death 
Rode the six hundred. 

Forward the Light Brigade ! 

Charge for the guns, he said. 

Into the valley of death 
Rode the six hundred. 

Forward the Light Brigade ! 
Was there a man dismay'd? 
Not though the soldiers knew 

Some one had blunder 'd. 
Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do and die. 
Into the valley of death 

Rode the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon in front of them 

Volley 'd and thunder'd; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
Boldly they rode and well, 
Into the jaws of Death, 
Into the mouth of Hell 

Rode the six hundred. 

Flash'd all their sabres bare, 
Flash'd as they turn'd in air, 



Sabering the gunners there, 
Charging an army, while 

All the world wonder'd : 
Plunged in the battery-smoke, 
Right through the line they 

broke ; 
Cossack and Russian 
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke 

Shatter 'd and sunder'd. 
Then they rode back, but not, 

Not the six hundred. 

Cannon to right of them, 
Cannon to left of them, 
Cannon behind them 

Volley'd and thunder'd ; 
Storm'd at with shot and shell, 
While horse and hero fell, 
They that had fought so well 
Came through the jaws of Death 
Back from the mouth of Hell, 
All that was lef b of them, 

Left of six hundred. 

When can their glory fade ? 
O, the wild charge they made ! 

All the world wonder'd. 
Honour the charge they made ! 
Honour the Light Brigade, 

Noble Six Hundred ! 



C hAxci ^UvJtc/fQ 



308 CHOICE READINGS. 



VII. 
INVECTIVE, VEHEMENT, INDIGNANT. 



CATILINE'S DEFIANCE. 

George Croly. 

Conscript Fathers : 
I do not rise to waste the night in words ; 
Let that Plebeian talk, 'tis not my trade ; , 

But here I stand for right, — let him show proofs, — ■ 
For Roman right, though none, it seems, dare stand 
To take their share with me. A} T , cluster there ! 
Cling to your master, judges, Romans, slaves ! 
His charge is false ; — I dare him to his proofs. 
You have my answer. Let my actions speak ! 

But this I will avow, that I have scorn'd, 
And still do scorn, to hide my sense of wrong. 
Who brands me on the forehead, breaks my sword, 
Or la}s the bloody scourge upon my back, 
Wrongs me not half so much as he who shuts 
The gates of honour on me, — turning out 
The Roman from his birthright ; and for what ? 
To fling your offices to every slave ! 
Vipers, that creep where man disdains to climb, 
And, having wound their loathsome track to the top 
Of this huge, mouldering monument of Rome, 
Hang hissing at the nobler man below. \_To the Senate. 

Come, consecrated Lictors, from your thrones ; 
Fling down 3'our sceptres ; take the rod and axe, 
And make the murder as you make the law. 



MARMION AND DOUGLAS. 313 

Unmeet to be the owner's peer. 
My castles are my king's alone 
From turret to foundation-stone ; 
The hand of Douglas is his own, 
And never shall in friendly grasp 
The hand of such as Marmion clasp." 

Burn'd Marmion' s swarthy cheek like fire, 
And shook his very frame for ire, 
And, " This to me ! " he said ; 
"An 'twere not for tlvy hoary beard, 
Such hand as Marmion's had not spared 

To cleave the Douglas' head ! 
And, first, I tell thee, haughty Peer, 
He who does England's message here, 
Although the meanest in her State, 
May well, proud Angus, be tlry mate : 
And, Douglas, more I tell thee here, 

Even in thy pitch of pride, 
Here in tlry hold, tlry vassals near, 
(Nay, never look upon your lord, 
And lay your hands upon your sword,) 

I tell thee, thou'rt defied ! 
And, if thou said'st I am not peer 
To any lord in Scotland here, 
Lowland or Highland, far or near, 

Lord Angus, thou hast lied ! " 

On the Earl's cheek the flush of rage 
O'ercame the ashen hue of age ; 
Fierce he broke forth, "And darest thou then 
To beard the lion in his den, 

The Douglas in his hall? 
And hopest thou hence unscathed to go? 
No, by Saint Bride of Bothwell, no ! 
Up drawbridge, grooms, — what, Warder, ho ! 
Let the portcullis fall." 



314 CHOICE READINGS. 

Lord Marmion turn'd, — well was his need ! 
And dash'd the rowels in his steed, 
Like arrow through the archway sprung ; 
The ponderous gate behind him rung : 
To pass there was such scanty room, 
The bars, descending, razed his plume. 

The steed along the drawbridge flies, 
Just as it trembled on the rise ; 
Not lighter does the swallow skim 
Along the smooth lake's level brim ; 
And, when Lord Marmion reach'd his band, 
He halts, and turns with clenched hand, 
And shout of loud defiance pours, 
And shook his gauntlet at the towers. 



THE SEMINOLE'S EEPLY. 

George W. Patten. 

Blaze, with your serried columns ! 

I will not bend the knee ! 
The shackles ne'er again shall bind 

The arm which now is free. 
I've mail'd it with the thunder, 

When the tempest mutter'd low ; 
And, where it falls, ye well may dread 

The lightning of its blow ! 

I've scared ye in the city, 

I've scalp'd ye on the plain ; 
Go, count your chosen, where they fell 

Beneath my leaden rain ! 
I scorn your proffer' d treaty ! 

The pale-face I defy ! 
Revenge is stamp'd upon my spear, 

And blood my battle cry ! 



HORRORS OF SAVAGE WARFARE. 315 

Some strike for hope of booty, 

Some to defend their all ; 
I battle for the joy I have 

To see the white man fall : 
I love, among the wounded, 

To hear his dying moan, 
And catch, while chanting at his side, 

The music of his groan. 



Ye've track'd me o'er the stream ; 
And, struggling through the everglade, 

Your bristling bayonets gleam ; 
But I stand as should the warrior, 

With his rifle and his spear ; 
The scalp of vengeance still is red, 

And warns ye, — Come not here ! 

I loathe ye in my bosom, 

I scorn ye with mine eye, 
And I'll taunt ye with nry latest breath, 

And fight ye till I die ! 
I ne'er will ask ye quarter, 

And I ne'er will be your slave ; 
But I'll swim the sea of slaughter, 

Till I sink beneath its wave ! 

HOEEOES OF SAVAGE WAEPAEE. 

William Pitt, Earl of Chatham. 

I AM astonished, shocked, to hear such principles con- 
fessed, to hear them avowed in this House, or even in 
this country ! principles equally unconstitutional, in- 
human, and unchristian ! 

My Lords, I did not intend to trespass again upon 
your attention, but I cannot repress my indignation, — 



316 CHOICE READINGS. 

I feel myself impelled by every duty. We are called 
upon as. members of this House, as men, as Christian 
men, to protest against such notions, standing near the 
throne, polluting the ear of Majesty. " That God and 
Nature put into our hands ! " * I know not what ideas 
that Lord may entertain of God and Nature ; but I 
know that such abominable principles are equally ab- 
horrent to x'eligion and humanity. 

What ! attribute the sacred sanction of God and 
Nature to the massacres of the Indian scalping-knife, 
— to the cannibal savage, torturing, murdering, roast- 
ing, and eating, — literally, my Lords, eating the man- 
gled victims of his barbarous battles ! Such horrible 
notions shock every precept of religion revealed or 
natural, and every generous feeling of humanity ; and, 
my Lords, they shock every sentiment of honour , they 
shock me as a lover of honourable war, and a detester 
of murderous barbarity. 

These abominable principles, and this more abomi- 
nable avowal of them, demand the most decisive indig- 
nation. I call upon the Right-Reverend Bench, those 
holy ministers of the Gospel, and pious pastors of our 
Church, — I conjure them to join in the holy work, and 
to vindicate the religion of their God. I appeal to the 
wisdom and the law of this Learned Bench to defend 
and support the justice of their country. I call upon 
the Bishops to interpose the unsullied sanctity of their 
lawn, upon the learned Judges to interpose the purity 
of their ermine, to save us from this pollution. I call 
upon the honour of your Lordships to reverence the 

* Lord Suffolk, one of the Secretaries of State, defending the employ- 
ment of Indians in the American war, had declared, in the House of Lords, 
that " it was perfectly justifiable to use all the means that God and Nature 
put into our hands." 



HORRORS OS SALVAGE WARFARE. 317 

tty : your ancestors, and to maintain your own. 

I call upon the spirit and humanity of my country to 
vindicate the national character. I invoke the genius of 
the Constitution. 

Fi ,m the tapestry that adorns these wails, the immor- 
tal ancestor of this noble Lord frowns with indigna;: 

: - f his ci : . . In vain he led your vic- 

t ri us fleets against the boasted Armada of Spain; in 
vain he defended and established the honour, the lib- 
erties, the religion, the Protestant religion of his conn- 
try. against the arbitrary cruelties of Popery and the 
Inquisition, if these worse than popish and inquisitorial 
practices are let loose amongst us. to turn forth into our 
settlements, among our ancient friends and relations, 
the merciless cannibal, thirsting for the blc d of man. 
woman, and child. 

T :■ send forth the infidel savage. — against whom ? 
Against your Protestant brethren! to lay waste their 
mtry, : lesolate their dwellings, and extirpate their 
race and name, with these horrible hell-hounds of savage 
war! — : U-h >. I say, ~ war! Spain armed 

herself with blood-honnds to extirpate the wretched 
natives of America ; and we improve on the inhuman 
example of even Spanish cruelty : we turn loose these 
savage hell-hounds against our brethren and country- 
men in America, of the same language, laws, liber::--, 
and religion : endeared to us by every tie that should 
:rify humanity. 

My Lords, this awful subject, so important to our 
honour, our Constitution, and our religion, demands 
the most solemn and effectual inquiry. And I again 
call upon your Lordships, and the united powers of the 
^:..:e. to examine it thoroughly and decisively, and to 

mp upon it an indelible stigma of the public abhor- 



318 CHOICE READINGS. 

rence. And I again implore those holy prelates of our 
religion to do away these iniquities from among us. Let 
them perform a lustration ; let them purify this House 
and this country from this sin. 

My Lords, I am old and weak, and at present unable 
to say more , but my feelings and my indignation were 
too strong to have said less. I could not have slept this 
night in my bed, or have reposed my head on my pillow, 
without giving this vent to my eternal abhorrence of 
such preposterous and enormous principles. 



>WXc 



AERAICTME1TT OP MINISTEKS. 

Edmund Burke. 

I confess I feel a degree of disgust, almost leading 
to despair, at the manner in which we are acting in the 
great exigencies of oar country. There is now a bill 
in this House, appointing a rigid inquisition into the 
minutest detail of our offices at home. The collection 
of sixteen millions annually, — a collection on which 
the public greatness, safety, and credit have their reli- 
ance ; the whole order of criminal jurisprudence, which 
holds together society itself, — has at no time obliged us 
to call forth such powers ; no, nor any thing like them. 
There is not a principle of the law and Constitution of 
this country that is not subverted to favour the execu- 
tion of that project. 

And for what is all this apparatus of bustle and 
terror? Is it because any thing substantial is expected 
from it? No. The stir and bustle itself is the end 
proposed. The eye-servants of a short-sighted master 
will employ themselves, not on what is most essential to 
his affairs, but on what is nearest to his ken. Great 



ARRAIGNMENT OF MINISTERS. 319 

difficulties have given a just value to economy ; and our 
Minister of the day must be an economist, whatever it 
may cost us. But where is he to exert his talents ? At 
home, to be sure; for where else can he obtain a profit- 
able credit for their exertion ? It is nothing to him, 
whether the object on which he works under our e} 7 e be 
promising or not. If he does not obtain any public 
benefit, he may make regulations without end. Those 
are sure to pay in present expectation, whilst the effect 
is at a distance, and may be the concern of other times 
and other men. 

On these principles he chooses to suppose (for he does 
not pretend more than to suppose) a naked possibility, 
that he shall draw some resource out of crumbs droppecl 
from the trenchers of penury ; that something shall be 
laid in store from the short allowance of revenue offi- 
cers, overladen with duty, and famished for want of 
bread. From the marrowless bones of these skeleton 
establishments, by the use of every sort of cutting and 
every sort of fretting tool, he flatters himself that he 
may chip and rasp an empirical alimentary powder, to 
diet into some similitude of health and substance the 
languishing chimeras of fraudulent reformation. 

Whilst he is thus employed according to his policy 
and to his taste, he has not leisure to inquire into those 
abuses in India that are drawing off money by millions 
from the treasures of this country, and are exhausting 
the vital juices from members of the State, where the 
public inanition is far more sorely felt than in the local 
exchequer of England. Not content with winking at 
these abuses, whilst he attempts to squeeze the labo- 
rious, ill-paid drudges of English revenue, he lavishes 
in one act of corrupt prodigality, upon those who never 
served the public in any honest occupation at all, an 



320 CHOICE READINGS. 

annual income equal to two-thirds of 'the whole collec- 
tion of the revenues of this kingdom. 

Actuated by the same principle of choice, he has now 
on the anvil another scheme, full of difficulty and des- 
perate hazard, which totally alters the commercial rela- 
tion of two kingdoms ; and, what end soever it shall 
have, may bequeath a legacy of heart-burning and dis- 
content to one of the countries, perhaps to both, to be 
perpetuated to the latest posterity. This project is also 
undertaken on the hope of profit. It is provided that, 
out of some (I know not what) remains of the Irish 
hereditary revenue, a fund at some time, and of some 
sort, should be applied to the protection of the Irish 
trade. 

Here we are commanded again to task our faith, and 
to persuade ourselves that, out of the surplus of defi- 
ciency, out of the savings of habitual and systematic 
prodigality, the Minister of wonders will provide sup- 
port for this nation, sinking under the mountainous 
load of two hundred and thirty millions of debt. But 
whilst we look with pain at his desperate and laborious 
trifling, whilst we are apprehensive that he will break 
his back in stooping to pick up chaff and straws, he 
recovers himself at an elastic bound, and, with a broad- 
cast swing of his arm, he squanders over his Indian field 
a sum far greater than the clear produce of the whole 
hereditary revenue of the kingdom of Ireland. 

Strange as this scheme of conduct in Ministry is, and 
inconsistent with all just policy, it is still true to itself, 
and faithful to its own perverted order. Those who are 
bountiful to crimes will be rigid to merit, and penurious 
to service. Their penury is even held out as a blind 
and cover to their prodigality. The economy of injus- 
tice is, to furnish resources for the fund of corruption. 



REVOLUTIONARY DESPERADOES. 321 

Then they pay off their protection to great crimes and 
great criminals, by being inexorable to the paltry frail- 
ties of little men ; and these modern flagellants are sure, 
with a rigid fidelity, to whip their own enormities on the 
vicarious back of every small offender. 



>^c 



REVOLUTIONARY DESPERADOES. 

Sir James Mackintosh. 

The French Revolution began with great and fatal 
errors. These errors produced atrocious crimes. A 
mild and feeble monarchy was succeeded by a bloody 
anarchy, which very shortly gave birth to military des- 
potism. France, in a few years, described the whole 
circle of human society. All this was in the order of 
Nature. When every principle which enables some 
men to command, and disposes others to obey, was ex- 
tirpated from the mind by atrocious theories, and still 
more atrocious examples ; when every old institution 
was trampled down with contumely, and every new 
institution was covered in its cradle with blood ; there 
remained only one principle strong enough to hold 
society together, — a principle utterly incompatible, in- 
deed, with liberty, and unfriendly to civilization itself, 
— a tyrannical and barbarous principle, but, in that 
miserable condition of human affairs, a refuge from still 
more intolerable evils ; — I mean the principle of mili- 
tary power, which gains strength from that confusion 
and bloodshed in which all other elements of society 
are dissolved, and which, in these terrible extremities, 
is the cement that preserves it from total destruction. 

Under such circumstances, Buonaparte usurped the 
supreme power in France ; — I say usurped, because an 



322 CHOICE READINGS. 

illegal assumption of power is an usurpation. But usur- 
pation, in its strongest moral sense, is scarcely applica- 
ble to a period of lawless and savage anarchy. But, 
though the government of Buonaparte has silenced the 
Revolutionary factions, it has not extinguished them. 
No human power could re-impress upon the minds of 
men all those sentiments and opinions which the soph- 
istry and anarchy of fourteen years had obliterated. 

As for the wretched populace who were made the 
blind and senseless instrument of so many crimes, — 
whose frenzy can now be reviewed by a good mind, 
with scarcely any moral sentiment but that of compas- 
sion, — that miserable multitude of beings, scarcely hu- 
man, have already fallen into a brutish forgetfulness of 
the very atrocities which they themselves perpetrated. 
They have passed from senseless rage to stupid quiet : 
their delirium is followed by lethargy. 

In a word, Gentlemen, the great body of the people 
of France have been severely trained in those convul- 
sions and proscriptions which are the school of slavery. 
They are capable of no mutinous, and even of no bold 
and manly political sentiments. But it is otherwise 
with those who have been the actors and leaders in the 
scene of blood : it is otherwise with the numerous agents 
of the most indefatigable, searching, multiform, and om- 
nipresent tyranny that ever existed, which pervaded 
every class of society, — which had ministers and vic- 
tims in every village in France. 

Some of them, indeed, — the basest of the race, — 
the Sophists, the Rhetors, the Poet-laureates of mur- 
der, who were cruel only from cowardice and calculat- 
ing selfishness, are perfectly willing to transfer their 
venal pens to any government that does not disdain 
their infamous support. These men, republicans from 



REVOLUTIONARY DESPERADOES. 323 

servility, who published rhetorical panegyrics on mas- 
sacre, and who reduced plunder to a system of ethics, 
are as ready to preach slavery as anarchy. 

But the more daring — I had almost said the more 
respectable — ruffians cannot so easily bend their heads 
under the yoke. These fierce spirits leave the luxuries 
of servitude to the mean and dastardly hypocrites, — 
to the Belials and Mammons of the infernal faction. 
They pursue their old end of tyranny under their 
old pretext of liberty. The recollections of their un- 
bounded power renders every inferior condition irksome 
and vapid ; and their former atrocities form, if I may so 
speak, a sort of moral destiny which irresistibly impels 
them to the perpetration of new crimes. They have 
no place left for penitence on Earth : they labour under 
the most awful proscription of opinion that ever was 
pronounced against human beings : they have cut down 
every bridge by which they could retreat into the so- 
ciety of men. 

Awakened from their dream of democrac}^, — the 
noise subsided that deafened their ears to the voice of 
humanity, — the film fallen from their eyes which hid 
from them the blackness of their own deeds, — haunted 
by the memory of their inexpiable guilt, — condemned 
daily to look on the faces of those whom their hand 
has made widows and orphans, — they are goaded and 
scourged by these real furies, and hurried into the 
tumult of new crimes, to drown the cries of remorse, 
or, if they be too depraved for remorse, to silence the 
curses of mankind. Tyrannical power is their only ref- 
uge from the just vengeance of their fellow-creatures : 
murder is their only means of usurping power. They 
have no taste, no occupation, no pursuit, but power and 
blood. If their hands are tied, they must at least have 



324 CHOICE READINGS. 

the luxury of murderous projects. They have drunk 
too deeply of human blood ever to relinquish their can- 
nibal appetite. 

Such a faction exists in France : it is numerous ; it is 
powerful; and it has a principle of fidelity stronger 
than any that ever held together a society. They are 
banded together by despair of forgiveness, — by the 
unanimous detestation of mankind. They are now re- 
strained by a severe and stern government: but they 
still meditate the renewal of insurrection and massacre ; 
and they are prepared to renew the worst and most atro- 
cious of their crimes, — that crime against posterity and 
against human nature itself, — the crime of degrading 
and prostituting the sacred name of liberty. I must 
own that, however paradoxical it may appear, I should 
almost think, not worse, but more meanly of them, if it 
were otherwise. I must then think them destitute of 
that, — I will not call it courage, because that is the 
name of a virtue, — but of that ferocious energy which 
alone rescues ruffians from contempt. If they were 
destitute of that which is the heroism of murderers, 
they would be the lowest as well as the most abomina- 
ble of mankind. It is impossible to conceive any thing 
more despicable than the wretches who, after playing 
the tyrannicides to women and children, become the 
supple and fawning slaves of the first government that 
knows how to wield the scourge with a firm hand. 

FRAUDULENT PARTY OUTCRIES. 

Daniel Webster. 

Mr. President : On the great questions which oc- 
cupy us, we all look for some decisive movement of 



FRAUDULENT PARTY OUTCRIES. 325 

public opinion. As I wish that movement to be free, 
intelligent, and unbiased, the true manifestation of the 
public will, I desire to prepare the country for another 
appeal, which I perceive is about to be made to popular 
prejudice, another attempt to obscure all distinct views 
of the public good, by loud cries against false danger, 
and by exciting the passions of one class against another. 
I am not mistaken in the omen ; I see the magazine 
whence the weapons of this warfare are to be drawn. 
I already hear the din of the hammering of arms pre- 
paratory to the combat. They may be such arms, per- 
haps, as reason and justice and honest patriotism cannot 
resist. Every effort at resistance, it is possible, may be 
feeble and powerless; but, for one, I shall make an 
effort, — an effort to be begun now, and to be carried on 
and continued, with untiring zeal, till the end of the 
contest comes. 

Sir, I see, in those vehicles which carry to the people 
sentiments from high places, plain declarations that the 
present controversy is but a strife between one part of 
the community and another. I hear it boasted as the 
unfailing security, the solid ground, never to be shaken, 
on which recent measures rest, that the poor naturally 
hate the rich. I know that, under the cover of the roofs 
of the Capitol, within the last twenty-four hours, among 
men sent here to devise means for the public safety and 
the public good, it has been vaunted forth, as matter of 
boast and triumph, that one cause existed powerful 
enough to support every thing, and to defend every 
thing ; and that was, the natural hatred of the poor to the 
rich. 

Sir, I pronounce the author of such sentiments to be 
guilty of attempting a detestable fraud on the commu- 
nity ; a double fraud ; a fraud which is to cheat men out 



326 CHOICE READINGS. 

of their property and out of the earnings of their labour, 
by first cheating them out of their understandings. 

"The natural hatred of the poor to the rich!" Sir, 
it shall not be till the last moment of my existence, — 
it shall be only when I am drawn to the verge of obli- 
vion, when I shall cease to have respect or affection for 
any thing on Earth, — that I will believe the people of 
the United States capable of being effectually deluded, 
cajoled, and driven about in Jierds, by such abominable 
frauds as this. If they shall sink to that point ; if they 
so far cease to be men, thinking men, intelligent men, 
as to yield to such pretences and such clamour, — they 
will be slaves already ; slaves to their own passions, 
slaves to the fraud and knavery of pretended friends. 
They will deserve to be blotted out of all the records 
of freedom ; they ought not to dishonour the cause of 
self-government, by attempting any longer to exercise 
it ; they ought to keep their unworthy hands entirely 
off from the cause of republican liberty, if they are 
capable of being the victims of artifices so shallow, of 
tricks so stale, so threadbare, so often practised, so much 
worn out, on serfs and slaves. 

" The natural hatred of the poor against the rich ! " 
" The danger of a moneyed aristocracy ! " "A power 
as great and dangerous as that resisted by the Revolu- 
tion ! " "A call to a new Declaration of Independence ! " 
Sir, I admonish the people against the objects of out- 
cries like these. I admonish every industrious labourer 
in the country to be on his guard against such delusion. 
I tell him the attempt is to play off his passions against 
his interests, and to prevail on him, in the name of lib- 
erty, to destroy all the fruits of liberty , in the name of 
patriotism, to injure and afflict his country : and, in the 
name of his own independence, to destroy that very 



INDIGNATION OF A HIGH-MINDED SPANIARD. 327 

independence, and make him a beggar and a siavo. Has 
he a dollar ? He is advised to do that which will destroy 
half its value. Has he hands to labour f Let him 
rather fold them, and sit still, than be pushed on, by 
fraud and artifice, to support measures which will render 
his labour useless and hopeless. 



D>^C 



ITOIGXATION OF A HIGH-MIKDED SPAtflAKD. 

Wordsworth. 

We can endure that he should waste our lands, 

Despoil our temples, and by sword and flame 

Return us to the dust from which we came ; 

Such food a Tyrant's appetite demands : 

And we can brook the thought that by his hands 

Spain may be overpower'd, and he possess, 

For his delight, a solemn wilderness 

Where all the brave lie dead. But, when of bands 

Which he will break for us he dares to speak, 

Of b.enefits, and of a future day 

When our enlighten' d minds shall bless his sway ; 

Then, the strain'd heart of fortitude proves weak ; 

Our groans, our blushes, our pale cheeks declare 

That he has power to inflict what we lack strength to bear. 



328 CHOICE READINGS. 



VIII. 

LIVELY, JOYOUS, GAY. 



L 'ALLEGKO. 

John Milton. 

Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee 

Jest and youthful Jollity, 

Quips, and cranks, and wanton wiles, 

Nods, and becks, and wreathed smiles, 

Such as hang on Hebe's cheek, 

And love to live in dimple sleek ; 

Sport, that wrinkled Care derides, 

And Laughter holding both his sides. 

Come, and trip it as you go 

On the light fantastic toe ; 

And in thy right hand lead with thee 

The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty : 

And, if I give thee honour due, 

Mirth, admit me of thy crew, 

To live with her, and live with thee, 

In unreproved pleasures free ; 

To hear the lark begin his flight, 

And singing startle the dull night, 

From his watch-tower in the skies, 

Till the dappled dawn doth rise. 

Then to come, in spite of sorrow, 
And at my window bid good-morrow, 
Through the sweet-brier, or the vine, 
Or the twisted eglantine ; 



L' ALLEGRO. 329 

While the cock with lively din 
Scatters the rear of darkness thin, 
And to the stack, or the barn-door, 
Stoutly struts his dames before : 
Oft listening how the hounds and horn 
Cheerily rouse the slumbering morn, 
From the side of some hoar hill, 
Through the high wood echoing shrill ; 
Sometimes walking not unseen 
Ify hedgerow elms, on hillocks green, 
Right against the eastern gate, 
Where the great Sun begins his state, 
Robed in flames and amber light. 
The clouds in thousand liveries dight ; 
While the ploughman near at hand 
Whistles o'er the furrow 'd land, 
And the milkmaid singeth blithe, 
And the mower whets his scythe, 
And every shepherd tells his tale 
Under the hawthorn in the dale. 

Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures, 

While the landscape round it measures ; 

Russet lawns and fallows gray 

Where the nibbling flocks do stra}' ; 

Mountains on whose barren breast 

The labouring clouds do often rest • 

Meadows trim with daisies pied ; 

Shallow brooks, and rivers wide : 

Towers and battlements it sees 

Bosom'd high in tufted trees, 

Where perhaps some beauty lies, 

The cynosure of neighbouring eyes. 

Sometimes, with secure delight, 

The upland hamlets will invite, 

When the merry bells ring round, 

And the jocund rebecks sound 



330 CHOICE READINGS. 

To many a youth and many a maid, 
Dancing in the checker'd shade ; 
And young and old come forth to play 
On a sunshine holiday. 

Tower'd cities please us then, 

And the busy hum of men, 

Where throngs of knights and barons bold 

In weeds of peace high triumphs hold, 

With store of ladies, whose bright e3~es 

Eain influence, and judge the prize 

Of wit or arms, while both contend 

To win her grace whom all commend. 

There let Hymen oft appear, 

In saffron robe, with taper clear, 

And pomp and feast and revehy, 

With masque and antique pageantry ; 

Such sights as youthful poets dream 

On summer eves by haunted stream. 

Then to the well-trod stage anon, 

If Jonson's learned sock be on, 

Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child, 

Warble his native wood-notes wild. 

These delights if thou canst give, 

Mirth, with thee I mean to live. 

THE DAFFODILS. 

Wordsworth. 

I wander' d lonely as a cloud 

That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 

When all at once I saw a crowd, 

A host, of golden daffodils ; 

Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 



YOUNG LOCHINVAK. 331 

Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the milky way, 
They stretch' cl in never-ending line 
Along the margin of the bay : 
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced ; but they 

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee : 

A poet could not but be gay, 

In such a jocund company : 

I gazed — and gazed — but little thought 

What wealth the show to me had brought : 

For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood, 
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude ; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 



YOUM LOOHItfVAR. 

Sir Walter Scott. 

O, young Lochinvar is come out of the West ! 
Through all the wide border his steed was the best ; 
And save his good broadsword he weapons had none ; 
He rode all unarm'd and he rode all alone. 
So faithful in love and so dauntless in war, 
There never was knight like the young Lochinvar. 

He stay'd not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone; 

He swam the Eske river where ford there was none ; 

But, ere he alighted at Netherby gate, 

The bride had consented, — the gallant came late ; 

For a laggard in love and a dastard in war 

Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar. 



332 CHOICE READINGS. 

So boldly he enter'd the Netherby hall, 

AmoDg bridesmen, and kinsmen, and brothers, and all : 

Then spoke the bride's father, his hand on his sword, — 

For the poor craven bridegroom said never a word, — 

" O come ye in peace here, or come ye in war, 

Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar ? " 

' ' I long woo'd 3 r our daughter ; — my suit you denied : 
Love swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide ; 
And now I am come, with this lost love of mine, 
To lead but one measure, — drink one cup of wine. 
There be maidens in Scotland, more lovely by far, 
That would gladly be bride to the young Lochinvar." 

The bride kiss'd the goblet ; the knight took it up ; 
He quaffd off the wine, and he threw down the cup ; 
She look'd clown to blush, and she look'd up to sigh, 
With a smile on her lip and a tear in her e}'e ; 
He took her soft hand ere her mother could bar ; — 
" Now tread we a measure ! " said young Lochinvar. 

So stately his form and so lovely her face, 

That never a hall such a galliard did grace ; 

While her mother did fret, and her father did fume, 

And the bridegroom stood dangling his bonnet and plume, 

And the bridemaidens whisper'd, " 'twere better, by far, 

To have match'd our fair cousin with 3'oung Lochinvar." 

One touch to her hand, and one word in her ear, 

When they reach'd the hall door, where the charger stood 

near ; 
So light to the croup the fair lad}' he swung, 
So light to the saddle before her he sprung ; — 
" She is won ! we are gone, over bank, bush, and scaur ; 
The3 T 'll have fleet steeds that follow ! " quoth young Lochin- 
var. 

There was mounting 'mong Graemes of the Netherby clan ; 
Fosters, Fenwicks, and Musgraves, they rode and they ran ; 



A MORNING RIDE. 333 

There was racing and chasing on Cannobie lea, 
But the lost bride of Netherby ne'er did they see. 
So daring in love, and so dauntless in war ; 
Have ye e'er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar? 



D^C 



A MORNDTG EIDE. 



From " The Wheelman.' 



Up with the lark in the first flush of morning, 
Ere the world wakes to its work or its play; 

Off for a spin to the wide-stretching country, 
Far from the close, stifling city away. 

A spring to the saddle, a spurt with the pedal, 
The roadway is flying from under my wheel : 

With motions so sprightly, with heart beating lightly, 
How glorious to master this creature of steel ! 

Now mounting the hill-slope with slow, steady toiling, 
Each turn of the wheel brings us nearer the goal ; 

And so on life's journey 'tis patient endeavour 
That opens the path to the conquering soul. 

The summit surmounted, we're now wildly dashing 

Through woodland and meadow, past farm-house and dell ; 

Inhaling the breath of the field and the forest, 

Keeping time as we glide to the tinkling cow-bell. 

Lo ! at length in the east, 'mid the radiant glory, 
Great Phoebus Apollo looks forth, bright and fair, 



334 CHOICE READINGS. 

Attended b} r cloudlets all roseate and golden ; 
O, joy to be out on a morning so rare ! 

Now slowly ; whoa, Reindeer ! here comes a fair milkmaid : 
Pure milk through a straw is refreshing, I ween ; 

And so are the blushes of pure, happy girlhood ; 

Therefore here's to your health and your sweetness, 1113- 
queen ! 

Once more in the saddle, we're bounding on homeward, 
Our frame all aglow with this excellent sport ; 

Now coasting, now climbing, then racing and beating 
Some young rustic jockey in metre so short, 

That in furious rage he whips and he lashes : 

But, 'tis useless, you see, my fine fellow, say we, 

As we dash along onward still faster and faster, 
Hoping next time that he not so foolish will be. 

As we mount the last hill, to the smoke-clouded city, 
Just beginning to boil with its great human tide, 

It calls us to toil, and to enter the conflict ; 
So endeth this morning our twenty-mile ride. 



I'M WITH YOU ONCE AGAIN. 

G. P. Morris. 

I'm with you once again, my friends ; 

No more my footsteps roam ; 
Where it began my journey ends, 

Amid the scenes of home. 



THE LAST LEAF. 335 

No other clime has skies so blue, 

Or streams so broad and clear ; 
And where are hearts so warm and true 

As those that meet me here? 

Since last, with spirits wild and free, 

I press' d nry native strand, 
I've wander' d man}* miles at sea, 

And many miles on land : 
I've seen fair regions of the Earth 

With rude commotion torn, 
Which taught me how to prize the worth 

Of that where I was born. 

In other countries, when I heard 

The language of my own, 
How fondly each familiar word 

Awoke an answering tone ! 
But, when our woodland songs were sung 

Upon a foreign mart, 
The vows that falter'd on the tongue 

With rapture fill'd my heart. 

My native land, I turn to you 

With blessing and with prayer, 
Where man is brave and woman true, 

And free as mountain air. 
Long may our flag in triumph wave 

Against the world combined, 
And friends a welcome, foes a grave, 

Within our borders find ! 

THE LAST LEAP. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 



I saw him once before, 
As he pass'd by the door ; 
And again 



The pavement-stones resound 
As he totters o'er the ground 
With his cane. 



336 



CHOICE READINGS. 



They say that in his prime, 
Ere the pruning-knife of Time 

Cut him down, 
Not a better man was found 
By the crier on his round 

Through the town. 

But now he walks the streets, 
And he looks at all he meets 

So forlorn ; 
And he shakes his feeble head, 
That it seems as if he said, 

"They are gone." 

The mossy marbles rest 

On the lips that he has press'd 

In their bloom ; 
And the names he loved to hear 
Have been carved for many a year 

On the tomb. 

My grandmamma has said, — 
Poor old lady ! she is dead 
Long ago, — ■ 



That he had a Boman nose, 
And his cheek was like a rose 
In the snow. 

But now his nose is thin, 
And it rests upon his chin 

Like a staff; 
And a crook is in his back, 
And a melancholy crack 

In his laugh. 

I know it is a sin 
For me to sit and grin 

At him here ; 
But the old three-corner'd hat 
And the breeches, and all that, 

Are so queer! 

And, if I should live to be 
The last leaf upon the tree 

In the Spring, 
Let them smile as I do now, 
At the old forsaken bough 

Where I cling. 



SONG OP THE BROOK. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

I come from haunts of coot and hern : 

I make a sudden sally 
And sparkle out among the fern, 

To bicker down a valley. 

By thirty hills I hurry down, 
Or slip between the ridges, 

By twent}' thorps, a little town, 
And half a hundred bridges. 

Till last by Philip's farm I flow 
To join the brimming river, 

For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on forever. 



SONG OF THE BROOK. 337 

I chatter over stony ways, 

In little sharps and trebles, 
I bubble into eddying bays, 

I babble on the pebbles. 

With man}' a curve nry banks I fret 

By many a field and fallow, 
And many a fairy foreland set 

With willow-weed and mallow. 

I chatter, chatter, as I flow 

To join the brimming river ; 
For men may come and men may go, 

But I go on forever. 

I wind about, and in and out, 

With here a blossom sailing, 
And here and there a Inst}' trout, 

And here and there a grayling ; 

And here and there a foamy flake 

Upon me, as I travel 
With many a silveiy waterbreak 

Above the golden gravel ; 

And draw them all along, and flow 

To join the brimming river ; 
For men may come and men may go, 

But I go on forever. 

I steal by lawns and grassy plots ; 

I slide by hazel covers ; 
I move the sweet forget-me-nots 

That grow for happy lovers : 

I slip, I slide, I. gloom, I glance, 

Among my skimming swallows ; 
I make the netted sunbeams dance 

Against nry sandy shallows : 



338 CHOICE READINGS. 

I murmur under Moon and stars ' 
In brambly wildernesses ; 

I linger by my shingly bars ; 
I loiter round my cresses ; 

And out again I curve and flow 
To join the brimming river ; 

For men ma} r come and men may go, 
But I go on forever. 

OO^OO 

A PSALM OF LIFE. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

Tell me not, in mournful numbers, 
' ' Life is but an empt}^ dream ! " 

For the soul is dead that slumbers, 
And things are not what they seem. 

Life is real ! life is earnest ! 

And the grave is not its goal ; 
" Dust thou art, to dust returnest," 

Was not spoken of the soul. 

Not enjo3'ment, and not sorrow, 
Is our destined end or way ; 

But to act, that each to-morrow, 
Find us further than to-day. 

Art is long, and Time is fleeting, 

And our hearts, though stout and brave, 

Still, like muffled drums, are beating, 
Funeral marches to the grave. 

In the world's broad field of battle, 

In the bivouac of Life, 
Be not like dumb, driven cattle ! 

Be a hero in the strife ! 



THE BOYS. 339 

Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant ! 

Let the dead Past bury its dead ! 
Act, — act in the living Present ! 

Heart within, and God o'erhead. 

Lives of great men all remind us 

We can make our lives sublime, 
And, departing, leave behind us 

Footprints on the sands of time ; 

Footprints that perhaps another, 

Sailing o'er life's solemn main, 
A forlorn and shipwreck'd brother, 

Seeing, shall take heart again. 

Let us, then, be up and doing, 

With a heart for any fate ; 
Still achieving, still pursuing, 

Learn to labour and to wait. 

THE BOYS. 

O. W. Holmes. 

Has there any old fellow got mix'd with the boys? 
If he has, take him out, without making a noise. 
Hang the almanac's cheat and the catalogue's spite ! 
Old Time is a liar ! we're twenty to-night ! 

We're twenty i We're twenty ! Who says we are more? 
He's tipsy, — young jackanapes ! — show him the door ! 
" Gray temples at twenty? " — Yes ! white if we please ; 
Where the snow-flakes fall thickest there's nothing can freeze ! 

Was it snowing I spoke of ? Excuse the mistake ! 
Look close, — you will not see a sign of a flake ! 
We want some new garlands for those we have shed, 
And these are white roses in place of the red. 



3J0 CHOICE KEADINGS. 

We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been told, 
Of talking, in public, as if we were old ; 
That bo3 7 we call " Doctor," and this we call " Judge " ; 
It's a neat little fiction, — of course its all fudge. 

That fellow's the " Speaker," the one on the right ; 
" Mr. Mayor," my young one, how are you to-night? 
That's our " Member of Congress," we say when we chaff; 
There's the "Reverend," — what's his name? — don't make 
me laugh. 

That boy with the grave mathematical look 

Made believe he had written a wonderful book, 

And the Royal Society thought it was true ! 

So they chose him right in, — a good joke it was too ! 

There's a boy, we pretend, with a three-decker brain, 

That could harness a team with a logical chain ; 

When he spoke of our manhood in syllabled fire, 

We cali'd him " The Justice," but now he's the " Squire." 

And there's a nice } T oungster of excellent pith ; 
Fate tried to conceal him b} r naming him Smith ; 
But he shouted a song for the brave and the free, — 
Just read on his medal, " My country," " of thee ! " 

You hear that boy laughing ? You think he's all fun ; 
But the angels laugh too at the good he has done ; 
The children laugh loud as they troop to his call, 
And the poor man that knows him laughs loudest of all ! 

Yes, we're boys, — always playing with tongue or with pen ; 
And I sometimes have ask'd, Shall we ever be men? 
Shall we always be youthful, and laughing, and gay, 
Till the last dear companion drops smiling awa}* ? 

Then here's to our boyhood, its gold and its gray ! 
The stars of its Winter, the dews of its May ! 
And, when we have done with our life-lasting toys, 
Dear Father, take care of Thy children. The Boys ! 



EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY. 341 



EXPOSTULATION AND EEPLY. 

Wordsworth. 

u Why, William, on that old gray stone, 
Thus for the length of half a day, 
Why, William, sit you thus alone, 
And dream your time away ? 

Where are your books? that light bequeath' d 
To Beings else forlorn and blind ! 
Up ! up ! and drink the spirit breathed 
From dead men to their kind. 

You look round on }^our Mother Earth, 
As if she for no purpose bore you ; 
As if you were her first-born birth, 
And none had lived before you ! " 

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, 
When life was sweet, I knew not why, 
To me my good friend Matthew spake, 
And thus I made reply : 

" The eye — it cannot choose but see ; 
We cannot bid the ear be still ; 
Our bodies feel, where'er they be, 
Against or with our will. 

Nor less I deem that there are Powers 
Which of themselves our minds impress ; 
That we can feed this mind of ours 
In a wise passiveness. 

Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum 
Of things for ever speaking, 
That nothing of itself will come, 
But we must still be seeking? 



342 CHOICE READINGS. 

Then ask not wherefore, here, alone, 
Conversing as I ma}', 
I sit upon this old gray stone, 
And dream my time away." 



THE TABLES TURNED. 

Up ! up ! my Friend, and quit your books, 
Or surely you'll grow double : 
Up ! up ! my Friend, and clear your looks ; 
Why all this toil and trouble? 

The Sun, above the mountain's head, 

A freshening lustre mellow 

Through all the long green fields has spread, 

His first sweet evening yellow. 

Books ! 'tis a dull and endless strife : 
Come, hear the woodland linnet, 
How sweet his music ! on my life, 
There's more of wisdom in it. 

And hark, how blithe the throstle sings ! 
He, too, is no mean preacher : 
Come forth into the light of things, 
Let Nature be your teacher. 

She has a world of ready wealth, 
Our minds and hearts to bless, — 
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, 
Truth breathed by cheerfulness. 

One impulse from a vernal wood 
May teach you more of man, 
Of moral evil and of good, 
Than all the sages can. 



THE PLEASURE-BOAT. 343 

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings ; 
Our meddling intellect 
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things : 
We murder to dissect. 

Enough of Science and of Art ; 
Close up those barren leaves ; 
Come forth, and bring with }'OU a heart 
That watches and receives. 



THE PLEASUKE-BOAT. 

R. H. Dana. 

Come, hoist the sail, the fast let go ! 

They're seated side by side : 
Wave chases wave in pleasant flow ; 

The bay is fair and wide. 

The ripples lightly tap the boat. 

Loose ! Give her to the wind ! 
She shoots ahead ; they're all afloat ; 

The strand is far behind. 

No danger reach so fair a crew ! 

Thou goddess of the foam, 
I'll ever pay thee worship due, 

If thou wilt bring them home. 

Fair ladies, fairer than the spray 
The prow is dashing wide, 

Soft breezes take you on your way, 
Soft flow the blessed tide ! 

O, might I like those breezes be, 
And touch that arching brow, 

I'd dwell for ever on the sea 
Where ye are floating now. 



344 CHOICE READINGS. 

The boat goes tilting on the waves ; 

The waves go tilting by : 
There dips the duck, — her back she laves 

O'erhead the sea-gulls fry. 

Now, like the gulls that dart for pre}', 

The little vessel stoops ; 
Now, rising, shoots along her way, 

Like them, in easy swoops. 

The sunlight falling on her sheet, 

It glitters like the drift, 
Sparkling, in scorn of Summer's heat, 

High up some mountain rift. 

The winds are fresh ; she's driving fast 

Upon the bending tide ; 
The crinkling sail and crinkling mast 

Go with her side by side. 

Why dies the breeze awa\^ so soon? 

Why hangs the pennant down ? 
The sea is glass ; the Sun at noon. — 

Nay, lady, do not frown ; 

For, see, the winged fisher's plume 

Is painted on the sea : 
Below, a cheek of lovely bloom. 

Whose eyes look up at thee ? 

She smiles ; thou needs must smile on her : 

And, see, beside her face 
A rich white cloud that doth not stir : 

What beauty, and what grace ! 

And pictured beach of yellow sand, 

And peaked rock, and hill 
Change the smooth sea to fairy land : 

How lovely and how still ! 



THE NEW YEAR. 345 

From that far isle the thresher's flail 

Strikes close upon the ear ; 
The leaping fish, the swinging sail 

Of yonder sloop, sound near. 

The parting Sun sends out a glow 

Across the placid bay, 
Touching with glory all the show. — 

A breeze ! Up helm ! Away ! 

Careering to the wind, they reach, 

With laugh and call, the shore. 
They've left their footprints on the beach, 

But then I hear no more. 



THE NEW YEAK. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

Ring- out, wild bells, to the wild sky, 
The flying cloud, the frosty light ; 
The year is dying in the night : 

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die. 

Ring out the old, ring in the new ; 

Ring, happy bells, across the snow ; 

The year is going : let him go ; 
Ring out the false ; ring in the true. 

Ring out the grief, that saps the mind, 
For those that here we see no more ; 
Ring out the feud of rich and poor ; 

Ring in redress to all mankind. 

Ring out a slowly dying cause. 

And ancient forms of party strife ; 
Ring in the nobler modes of life, 

With sweeter manners, purer laws. 



346 CHOICE READINGS. 

Ring out the want, the care, the sin, 
The faithless coldness of the times ; 
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, 

But ring the fuller minstrel in. 

Ring out false pride in place and blood, 
The civic slander and the spite ; 
Ring in the love of truth and right ; 

Ring in the common love of good. 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease ; 

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold ; 

Ring out the thousand wars of old, 
Ring in the thousand years of peace. 

Ring in the valiant man and free, 
The larger heart, the kindlier hand ; 
Ring out the darkness of the land ; 

Ring in the Christ that is to be. 



>>@<c 



FISH-WOMEN AT CALAIS. 

'Tis said, fantastic ocean doth enfold 

The likeness of whate'er on land is seen ; 

But, if the Nereid Sisters and their Queen, 

Above whose heads the tide so long hath roll'd, 

The Dames resemble whom we here behold, 

How fearful were it down through opening waves 

To sink and meet them in their fretted caves, 

Wither'd, grotesque, immeasurably old, 

And shrill and fierce in accent ! — Fear it not : 

For they Earth's fairest daughters do excel ; 

Pure undecaying beauty is their lot ; 

Their voices into liquid music swell, 

Thrilling each pearly cleft and sparry grot, 

The undisturb'd abodes where Sea-nymphs dwell ! 



AUNT TAB1THA. 34' 



IX. 
HUMOROUS, COMIC. 



AOTT TABITHA. 

O. W. Holmes. 



Whatever I do and whatever I say, 
Aunt Tabitha tells me that isn't the way ; 
When she was a girl, (forty Summers ago,) 
Aunt Tabitha tells me they never did so. 

Dear aunt ! if I only would take her advice, — 
But I like my own way, and I find it so nice ! 
And besides I forget half the things I am told ; 
But they will come back to me, — when I am old. 

If a youth passes by, it may happen, no doubt, 
He may chance to look in as I chance to look out : 
She would never endure an impertinent stare ; 
It is horrid, she sa3's, and I mustn't sit there. 

A walk in the moonlight has pleasure, I own, 
But it isn't quite safe to be walking alone ; 
So I take a lad's arm, — just for safety, you know ; 
But Aunt Tabitha tells me, they didn't do so. 

How wicked we are, and how good they were then ! 
They kept at arm's length those detestable men : 
What an era of virtue she lived in ! — but stay, — 
Were the men such rogues in Aunt Tabitha's day ? 



348 CHOICE READINGS. 

If the men ivere so wicked, —I'll ask my papa 
How he dared to propose to my darling mamma? 
Was he like the rest of them ? goodness ! who knows ? 
And what shall I say, if a wretch should propose ? 

I am thinking if aunt knew so little of sin, 
What a wonder Aunt Tabitha's aunt must have been ! 
And her grand-aunt, — it scares me, — how shockingly sad 
That we girls of to-day are so frightfully bad ! 

A martyr will save us, and nothing else can ; 
Let us perish to rescue some wretched young man ! 
Though, when to the altar a victim I go, 
Aunt Tabitha'll tell me — she never did so. 



S&Zi 



AWPULLY LOVELY PHILOSOPHY. 

A few days ago a Boston girl, who had been attend- 
ing the School of Philosophy at Concord, arrived in 
Brooklyn, on a visit to a seminary chum. After can- 
vassing thoroughly the fun and gum-drops that made 
up their education in the seat of learning at which their 
early scholastic efforts were made, the Brooklyn girl 
began to inquire the nature of the Concord entertain- 
ment. 

" And so you are taking lessons in philosophy ! How 
do you like it ? " 

" O, it's perfectly lovely ! It's about science, you 
know, and we all just dote on science." 

" It must be nice. What is it about ? " 

"It's about molecules as much as any thing else, and 
molecules are just too awfully nice for any thing. If 
there's any thing I really enjoy it's molecules.'' 

"Tell me about them, my dear. What are mole- 
cules?" 



AWFULLY LOVELY PHILOSOPHY. 349 

u O, molecules! They are little wee things, and it 
takes ever so many of them. They are splendid things. 
Do you know, there ain't anything but what's got mole- 
cules in it. And Mr. Cook is just as sweet as he can 
be, and Mr. Emerson too. They explain everything so 
beautifully." 

" How I'd like to go there ! " said the Brooklyn girl, 
enviously. 

"You'd enjoy it ever so much. They teach proto- 
plasm, too ; and if there is one thing perfectly heavenly 
it's protoplasm. I really don't know which I like best, 
protoplasm or molecules." 

" Tell me about protoplasm. I know I should adore 
it." 

"'Deed you would. It's just too sweet to live. You 
know it's about how things get started, or something of 
that kind. You ought to hear Mr. Emerson tell about 
it. It would stir your very soul. The first time he 
explained about protoplasm there wasn't a dry eye in 
the house. We named our hats after him. This is an 
Emerson hat. You see the ribbon is drawn over the 
crown and caught with a buckle and a bunch of flowers. 
Then you turn up the side with a spray of forget-me- 
nots. Ain't it just too sweet? All the girls in the 
school have them." 

"How exquisitely lovely! Tell me some more sci- 
ence." 

" O, I almost forgot about differentiation. I am 
really and truly positively in love with differentiation. 
It's different from molecules and protoplasm, but it's 
every bit as nice. And Mr. Cook ! You should hear 
him go on about it. I really believe he's perfectly 
bound up in it. This scarf is the Cook scarf. All the 
girls wear them, and we named them after him, just on 
account of the interest he takes in differentiation." 



350 CHOICE READINGS. 

" What is it, anyway ? " 

" This is mull, trimmed with Languedoc lace — " 

" I don't mean that, — that other." 

" O, differentiation ! Ain't it sweet ? It's got some- 
thing to do with species. It's the way you tell one hat 
from another, so you'll know which is becoming. And 
we learn all about ascidians too. They are the divinest 
things ! I'm absolutely enraptured with ascidians. If 
I only had an ascidian of my own I wouldn't ask any- 
thing else in the world." 

" What do they look like, dear ? Did you ever see 
one ? " asked the Brooklyn girl, deeply interested. 

" O, no ; nobody ever saw one except Mr. Cook and 
Mr. Emerson ; bat they are something like an oyster 
with a reticule hung on its belt. I think they are just 
heavenly." 

"Do you learn any thing else besides?" 

" O, yes. We learn about common philosophy and 
logic, and those common things like metaphysics ; but 
the girls don't care anything about those. We are just 
in ecstasies over differentiations and molecules, and Mr. 
Cook and protoplasms, and ascidians and Mr. Emerson, 
and I really don't see why they put in those vulgar 
branches. If anybody besides Mr. Cook and Mr. Emer- 
son had done it, we should have told him to his face 
that he was too terribly, awfully mean." And the 
Brooklyn girl went to bed that night in the dumps, 
because fortune had not vouchsafed her the advantages 
enjoyed by her friend. 

THE BALD-HEADED MAN. 

The other day a lady, accompanied by her son, a 
very small boy, boarded a train at Little Rock. The 



THE BALD-HEADED MAN. 351 

woman had a care-worn expression hanging over her 
face like a tattered veil, and many of the rapid ques- 
tions asked by the boy were answered by unconscious 
sighs. 

" Ma," said the boy, " that man's like a baby, ain't 
he ? " pointing to a bald-headed man sitting just in 
front of them. 

"Hush!" 

"Why must I hush?" 

After a few moments' silence, u Ma, what's the mat- 
ter with that man's head? " 

" Hush, I tell }^ou. He's bald." 

"What's bald?" 

" His head hasn't got any hair on it." 

"Did it come off?" 

" I guess so." 

"Will mine come off? " 

"Some time, maybe." 

" Then I'll be bald, won't I ? " 

" Yes." 

"Will you care?" 

" Don't ask so many questions." 

After another silence, the boy exclaimed, " Ma, look 
at that fly on that man's head." 

"If you don't hush, I'll whip you when we get 
home." 

" Look ! There's another fly. Look at 'em fight, 
look at 'em ! " 

" Madam," said the man, putting aside a newspaper 
and looking around, "what's the matter with that 
young hyena?" 

The woman blushed, stammered out something, and 
attempted to smooth back the boy's hair. 

"One fly, two flies, three flies," said the boy inno- 



352 CHOICE READINGS. 

cently, following with his eyes a basket of oranges 
carried by a newsboy. 

"Here, you young hedgehog,'' said the bald-headed 
man, "if you don't hush, I'll have the conductor put 
you off the train." 

The poor woman, not knowing what else to do, boxed 
the boy's ears, and then gave him an orange to keep 
him from crying. 

" Ma, have I got red marks on my head ? " 

" I'll whip you again if you don't hush.'" 

" Mister," said the boy, after a short silence, " does it 
hurt to be bald-headed ? " 

" Youngster," said the man, " if you'll keep quiet, I'll 
give you a quarter." 

The boy promised, and the money was paid over. 

The man took up his paper, and resumed his reading. 

" This is my bald-headed money," said the boy. 
"When I get bald-headed, I'm goin* to give boys 
money. Mister, have all bald-headed men got money? " 

The annoyed man threw down his paper, arose, and 
exclaimed, " Madam, hereafter, when you travel, leave 
that young gorilla at home. Hitherto, I always thought 
that the old prophet was very cruel for calling the bears 
to kill the children for making sport of his head, but 
now I am forced to believe that he did a Christian act. 
If your boy had been in the crowd, he would have died 
first. If I can't find another seat on this train, I'll ride 
on the cow-catcher rather than remain here." 

" The bald-headed man is gone," said the boy ; and, 
as the woman leaned back, a tired sigh escaped from 
her lips. 



THK BRAKKMAK AT CHURCH. 353 

THE BEAKEMAtf AT OHTJECH. 

R. J. Bitrdette. 

On the road once more, with Lebanon fading away 
in the distance, the fat passenger drumming idly on the 
window pane, the cross passenger sound asleep, and the 
tall, thin passenger reading M Gen. Grant's Tour Around 
the World," and wondering why " Green's August 
Flower " should be printed above the doors of " A 
Buddhist Temple at Benares.*' To me comes the brake- 
man, and, seating himself on the arm of the seat, says, 
•• I went to church yesterday.*' 

M Yes ? " I said, with that interested inflection that 
asks for more. "And what church did you attend?" 

•• Which do you guess ? "' he asked. 

"Some union mission church,'' I hazarded. 

" No," he said, " I don't like to run on these branch 
roads very much. I don't often go to church, and, when 
I do, I want to run on the main line, where your run is 
regular, and you go on schedule time, and don't have to 
wait on connections. I don't like to run on a branch. 
Good enough, but I don't like it.' 

w Episcopal ? *' I guessed. 

-Limited express." he said, "all palace cars and *2 
extra for seat, fast time, and only stop at big stations. 
Nice line, but too exhaustive for a brakeman. All train 
men in uniform, conductor's punch and lantern silver 
plated, and no train boys allowed. Then the passengers 
are allowed to talk back at the conductor, and it makes 
them too free and easy. Xo. I couldn't stand the palace 
earSj, Rich road, though. Don't often hear of a re- 
ceiver being appointed for that line. Some mighty nice 
people travel on it. too." 

" Universalist ? '" I suggested. 



354 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Broad gauge," said the brakeman, " does too much 
complimentary business. Everybody travels on a pass. 
Conductor doesn't get a fare once in fifty miles. Stops 
at flag stations, and won't run into anything but a union 
depot. No smoking-car on the train. Train orders are 
rather vague though, and the train men don't get along 
well with the passengers. No, I don't go to the Uni- 
versalist, but I know some good men who run on that 
road." 

" Presbyterian ? " I asked. 

"Narrow gauge, eh?" said the brakeman, "pretty 
track, straight as a rule ; tunnel right through a moun- 
tain rather than go around it ; spirit-level grade ; pas- 
sengers have to show their tickets before they get on 
the train. Mighty strict road, but the cars are a little 
narrow ; have to sit one in a seat, and no room in the 
aisle to dance. Then there is no stop-over tickets al- 
lowed; got to go straight through to the station you're 
ticketed for, or you can't get on at all. When the car 
is full, no extra coaches ; cars built at the shop to hold 
just so many, and nobody else allowed on. But you don't 
often hear of an accident on that road. It's run right 
up to the rules." 

"Maybe you joined the Free-Thinkers ?" I said. 

" Scrub road," said the brakeman, " dirt road-bed and 
no ballast ; no time-card and no train-dispatcher. All 
trains run wild, and every engineer makes his own time, 
just as he pleases. Smoke if you want to ; kind of go- 
as-you-please road. Too many side tracks, and every 
switch wide open all the time, with the switchman sound 
asleep and the target lamp dead out. Get on as you 
please, and get off when you want to. Don't have to 
show your tickets, and the conductor isn't expected to 
do anything but amuse the passengers. No, sir. I was 



THE BRAKEMAN AT CHURCH. 355 

offered a pass, but I don't like the line. I don't like to 
travel on a road that has no terminus. Do you know, 
sir, I asked a division-superintendent where that road 
run to, and he said he hoped to die if he knew. I asked 
him if the general superintendent could tell me, and he 
said he didn't believe they had a general superintendent, 
and if they had he didn't know any thing more about 
the road than the passengers. I asked him who he re- 
ported to, and he said ' nobody.' I asked a conductor 
who he got his orders from, and he said he didn't take 
orders from any living man or dead ghost. And, when 
I asked the engineer who he got his orders from, he 
said he'd like to see anybody give him orders , he'd run 
the train to suit himself, or he'd run it into the ditch. 
Now you see, sir, I'm a railroad man, and I don't care 
to run on a road that has no time, makes no connec- 
tions, runs nowhere, and has no superintendent. It 
may be all right, but I've railroaded too long to under- 
stand it."' 

" Maybe you went to the Congregational Church ? " 

"Popular road," said the brakeman ; "an old road, 
too, — one of the very oldest in the country. Good 
road-bed and comfortable cars. Well-managed road, 
too ; directors don't interfere with division-superintend- 
ents and train-orders. Road's mighty popular, but its 
pretty independent, too. Yes, didn't one of the divi- 
sion superintendents down east discontinue one of the 
oldest stations on this line two or three years ago ? But 
it's a mighty pleasant road to travel on, — always has 
such a pleasant class of passengers." 

"Did you try the Methodist?" I said. 

"Now you're shouting ! " he said with some enthusiasm. 
"Nice road, eh? Fast time and plenty of passengers. 
Engines carry a power of steam, and don't you forget 



356 CHOICE READINGS. 

it ; steam-gauge shows a hundred, and enough all the 
time. Lively road ; when the conductor shouts ' all 
aboard,' you can hear him at the next station. Every 
train-light shines like a head-light. Stop-over checks 
are given on all through-tickets ; passenger can drop off 
the train as often as he likes, do the station two or three 
days, and hop on the next revival train that comes 
thundering along. Good, wholesouled, companionable 
conductors ; ain't a road in the country where the pas- 
sengers feel more at home. No passes ; every passenger 
pays full traffic rates for his ticket. Wesleyanhouse 
air-brakes on all trains, too : pretty safe road, but I 
didn't ride over it yesterday." 

"Perhaps you tried the Baptist?" I guessed once 
more. 

"Ah, ha ! " said the brakeman, " she's a -daisy, isn't 
she ? River road ; beautiful curves ; sweep around any 
thing to keep close to the river, but it's all steel rail and 
rock ballast, single track all the way, and not a side 
track from the round house to the terminus. Takes a 
heap of water to run it, though ; double tanks at every 
station, and there isn't an engine in the shops that can 
pull a pound or run a mile with less than two gauges. 
But it runs through a lovely country; those river roads 
always do ; river on one side and hills on the other, and 
it's a steady climb up the grade all the way till the run 
ends where the fountain-head of the river begins. Yes, 
sir ; I'll take the river road every time for a lovely trip, 
sure connections and a good time, and no prairie dust 
blowing in at the windows. And yesterday, when the 
conductor came around for the tickets with a little 
basket punch, I didn't ask him to pass me, but I paid 
my fare like a little man, — twenty-five cents for an 
hour's run, and a little concert by the passengers thrown 



THE CHAMPION SNORER. 357 

in. I tell you, pilgrim, you take the river road when 
you want — " 

But just here the long whistle from the engine an- 
nounced a station, and the brakeman hurried to the 
door, shouting : 

" Zionsville ! The train makes no stops between here 
and Indianapolis ! " 

THE CHAMPION StfOKEE. 

Burlington Hawkeye. 

It was the Cedar Rapids sleeper. Outside, it was as 
dark as the inside of an ink-bottle. In the sleeping-car 
people slept. Or tried it. 

Some of them slept like Christian men and women, 
peacefully, sweetly, and quietly. 

Others slept like demons, malignantly, hideously, 
fiendishly, as though it was their mission to keep every- 
body else awake. 

Of these the man in lower number three was the 
worst. 

We never heard any thing snore like him. It was 
the most systematic snoring that was ever done, even 
on one of these tournaments of snoring, a sleeping-car. 
He didn't begin as soon as the lamps were turned down 
and everybody was in bed. O, no ! There was more 
cold-blooded diabolism in his system than that. He 
waited until everybody had had a taste of sleep, just 
to see how nice and pleasant it was ; and then he broke 
in on their slumbers like a winged, breathing demon, 
and they never knew what peace was again that night. 

He started out with a terrific 

" Gu-r-r-rt ! " 
that opened every eye in the car. We all hoped it was 



358 CHOICE READINGS. 

an accident, however; and, trusting that he wouldn't 
do it again, we all forgave him. Then he blasted our 
hopes and curdled the sweet serenity of our forgiveness 
by a long-drawn 

" Gw-a-h-h-hah ! " 
that sounded too much like business to be accidental. 
Then every head in that sleepless sleeper was held off 
the pillow for a minute, waiting in breathless suspense 
to hear the worst; and the sleeper in "lower three" 
went on in long-drawn, regular cadences that indicated 
good staying qualities, 

" Gwa-a-a-h ! Gwa-a-a-a-h ! Gahwayway ! Gahway- 
wah ! Gahwa-a-ah ! " 

Evidently it was going to last all night; and the 
weary heads dropped back on the sleepless pillows, and 
the swearing began. It mumbled along in low, mutter- 
ing tones, like the distant echoes of a profane thunder- 
storm. Pretty soon " lower three " gave us a little 
variation. He shot off a spiteful 

" Gwook ! " 
which sounded as though his nose had got mad at him 
and was going to strike. Then there was a pause, and 
we began to hope he had either awakened from sleep or 
strangled to death, — nobody cared very particularly 
which. But he disappointed everybody with a gut- 
tural 

" Gurroch ! " 

Then he paused again for breath ; and when he had 
accumulated enough for his purpose he resumed busi- 
ness with a stentorious 

"Kowpff!" 
that nearly shot the roof off the car. Then he went on 
playing such fantastic tricks with his nose, and breath- 
ing things that would make the immortal gods weep, if 



COURTSHIP UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 359 

they did but hear him. It seemed an utter, preposter- 
ous impossibility- that any human being could make the 
monstrous, hideous noises with its breathing machine 
that the fellow in " lower three " was making with his. 
He then ran through all the ranges of the nasal gamut ; 
he went up and down a very chromatic scale of snores ; 
he ran through intricate and fearful variations until it 
seemed that his nose must be out of joint in a thousand 
places. All the night and all the day through he told 
his story; 

"Gawoh! gurrah ! gu-r-r-r ! Kowpfr! Gawaw-wah ! 
gawah-hah ! gwock ! gwart ! gwah-h-h-h woof ! " 

Just as the other passengers had consulted together 
how they might slay him, morning dawned, and " lower 
number three " awoke. Everybody watched the cur- 
tain to see what manner of man it was that made the 
sleeping-car a pandemonium. Presently the toilet was 
completed, the curtains parted, and " lower number 
three " stood revealed. Great Heavens ! 

It was a fair young girl, with golden hair, and timid, 
pleading eyes, like a hunted fawn. 



^K< 



COUKTSHIP UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 

Snobbleton. Yes, there is that fellow Jones, again. I declare, the 
man is ubiquitous. Wherever I go with my cousin Prudence we 
stumble across him, or he follows her like her shadow. Do we take 
a boating ? So does Jones. Do we wander on the beach ? So does 
Jones. Go where we will, that fellow follows or moves before. 
Now, that was a cruel practical joke which Jones once played upon 
me at college. I have never forgiven him. But I would gladly 
make a pretence of doing so, if I could have my revenge. Let me 
see. Can't I manage it? He is head over ears in love with Pru- 
dence, but too bashful to speak. I half believe she is not indiffer- 
ent to him, though altogether unacquainted. It may prove a 



360 CHOICE READINGS. 

match, if I cannot spoil it. Let me think. Ha ! I have it. A bril- 
liant idea ! Jones, beware ! But here he comes. 

Enter Jones. 

Jones. (Not seeing Snobbleton, and delightedly contemplating a 
flower, which he holds in his hand.) (), rapture ! what a prize ! It 
was in her hair, — I saw it fall from her queenly head. (Kisses it 
every now and then.) How warm are its tender leaves from having 
touched her neck ! How doubly sweet is its perfume, — fresh from 
the fragrance of her glorious locks! How beautiful! how — Bless 
me ! here is Snobbleton, and we are enemies ! 

Snob. Good-morning, Jones, — that is, if you will shake hands. 

Jones. What ! you — you forgive ! You really — 

Snob. Yes, yes, old fellow! All is forgotten. You played me 
a rough trick; but let bygones be bygones. Will you not bury 
the hatchet? 

Jones. With all my heart, my dear fellow ! 

Snob. What is the matter with you, Jones ? You look quite 
grumpy, — not by any means the same cheerful, dashing, rollicking 
fellow you were. 

Jones. Grumpy, — what is that? How do I look, Snobbleton? 

Snob. O, not much out of the way. Only a little shaky in the 
shanks, — blue lips, red nose, cadaverous jaws, blood-shot eyes, 
yellow — 

Jones. Bless me, you don't say so ! (Aside.) Confound the 
man. Here have I been endeavouring to appear romantic for the 
last month ; and now to be called grumpy, — shaky-shanked, 
cadaverous, — it is unbearable ! 

Snob. But never mind. Cheer up, old fellow! I see it all. 
Egad ! I know what it is to be in — 

Jones. Ah! you can then sympathize with me! You know 
what it is to be in — 

Snob. Of course I do ! Heaven preserve me from the toils ! 
What days of bitterness ! 

Jones. What nights of bliss ! 

Snob. (Shuddering.) And then the letters, — the interminable 
letters ! 

Jones. O yes, the letters ! the billet doux ! 

Snob. And the bills, — the endless bills ! 

Jones. (In surprise.) The bills ! 

Snob. Yes ; and the bailiffs, the lawyers, the judge, and the 
3 U1 T- 



COURTSHIP UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 361 

Jones. Why, man, what are you talking about? I thought you 
said you knew what it was to be in — 

Snob. In debt. To be sure, I did. 

Jones. Bless me ! I'm not in debt, —never borrowed a dollar in 
my life. Ah, me ! (Sighs.) it's worse than that. 

Snob. Worse than that ! Come, now, Jones, there is only one 
thing worse. You're surely not in love ? 

Jones. Yes, I am. O Snobby, help me, help me ! Let me 
confide in you. 

Snob. Confide in me ! Certainly, my dear fellow ! See, I do 
not shrink, — I stand firm. 

Jones. Snobby, I — I love her. 

Snob. Whom ? 

Jones. Your cousin, Prudence. 

Snob. Ha! Prudence Angelina Winterbottom. 

Jones. Now, don't be angry, Snobby ! I don't mean any harm, 
you know. I — I — you know how it is. 

Snob. Harm ! my dear fellow. Not a bit of it. Angry ! Not 
at all. You have my consent, old fellow. Take her. She is yours. 
Heaven bless you both ! 

Jones. You are very kind, Snobby, but I haven't got her consent 
yet. 

Snob. Well, that is something, to be sure. But leave it all to 
me. She may be a little coy, you know ; but, considering your 
generous overlooking of her unfortunate defect, — 

Jones. Defect ! You surprise me. 

Snob. What ! and you did not know of it ? 

Jones. Not at all. I am astonished ! Nothing serious I hope. 

Snob. O, no ! only a little — (He taps his ear with his finger, 
Jcnoivingly.) I see, you understand it. 

Jones. Merciful Heaven ! can it be? But really, is it serious? 

Snob. I should think it was. 

Jones. What ! But is she ever dangerous ? 

Snob. Dangerous ! Why should she be ? 

Jones. (Considerably relieved.) O, I perceive! A mere airi- 
ness of brain, — a gentle abberration, — scorning the dull world, — 
a mild — 

Snob. Zounds, man, she's not crazy ! 

Jones. My dear Snobby, you relieve me. What then ? 

Snob. Slightly deaf. That's all. 

Jones. Deaf ! 



362 CHOICE READINGS. 

Snob. As a lamp-post. That is, you must elevate your voice to a 
considerable pitch in speaking to her. 

Jones. Is it possible ! However, I think I can manage. As, 
for instance, if it was my intention to make her a floral offering, 
and I should say, (elevating his voice considerably,') " Miss, will you 
make me happy by accepting these flowers V " I suppose she could 
hear me, eh ? How would that do ? 

Snob. Pshaw ! Do you call that elevated ? 

Jones. Well, how would this do ? (Speaks very loudly.) " Miss, 
will you make me happy — " 

Snob. Louder, shriller, man ! 

Jones. " Miss, will you — " 

Snob. Louder, louder, or she will only see your lips move. 

Jones. (Almost screaming.) "Miss, will you oblige me by ac- 
cepting these flowers?" 

Snob. There, that may do. « Still you want practice. I perceive 
the lady herself is approaching. Suppose you retire for a short 
time, and I will prepare her for the introduction. 

Jones. Very good. Meantime I will go down to the beach and 
endeavour to acquire the proper pitch. Let me see : " Miss, will you 
oblige me — " [Exit Jones.] 

Enter Prudence. 

Prud. Good-morning, cousin. Who was that speaking so 
loudly ? 

Snob. Only Jones. Poor fellow, he is so deaf that I suppose he 
fancies his own voice to be a mere whisper. 

Prud. Why, I was not aware of this. Is he very deaf? 

Snob. Deaf as a stone fence. To be sure, he does not use an 
ear-trumpet any more, but one must speak excessively high. Un- 
fortunate, too, for I believe he is in love. 

Prud. ( With some emotion.) In love ! with whom ? 

Snob. Can't you guess ? 

Prud. O, no ; I haven't the slightest idea. 

Snob. With yourself ! He has been begging me to obtain him 
an introduction. 

Prud. Well, I have always thought him a nice-looking young- 
man. I suppose he would hear me if I should say, (speaking loudly,) 
" Good-morning, Mr. Jones ? " 

Snob. (Compassionately.) Do you think he would hear that 1 

Prud. Well, then, how would, (speaks very loudly,) " Good- 
morning, Mr. Jones ! " How would that do ? 



COURTSHIP UNDER DIFFICULTIES. 363 

Snob. Tush ! he would think you were speaking under your 

breath. 

Prud. (Almost screaming.) " Good-morning ! " 

Snob. A mere whisper, my dear cousin. But here he comes. 

Now, do try and make yourself audible. 

Enter Jones. 

Snob. (Speaking in a high voice.) Mr. Jones, cousin. Miss 
Winterbottom, Jones. You will please excuse me for a short time. 
(He retires, but remains in view.) 

Jones. (Speaking shrill and loud, and offering some flowers.) 
Miss, will you accept these flowers ? I plucked them from their 
slumber on the hill. 

Prud. (In an equally high voice.) Really, sir, I — I — 

Jones. (Aside.) She hesitates. It must be that she does not 
hear me. (Increasing his tone.) Miss, will you accept these flowers 
— flowers ? I plucked them sleeping on the hill — hill. 

Prud. (Also increasing her tone.) Certainly, Mr. Jones. They 
are beautiful — beau-u-tiful. 

Jones. (Aside.) How she screams in my ear. (Aloud.) Yes, 
I plucked them from their slumber — slumber, on the hill — hill. 

Prud. (Aside.) Poor man, what an effort it seems to him to 
speak. (Aloud.) I perceive you are poetical. Are you fond of 
poetry? (Aside.) He hesitates. I must speak louder. (In a 
scream.) Poetry — poetry — POETRY ! 

Jones. (Aside.) Bless me, the woman would wake the dead ! 
(Aloud.) Yes, Miss, I ad-o-r-e it. 

Snob. (Solus from behind, rubbing his hands.) Glorious ! glo- 
rious ! I wonder how loud they can scream. O, vengeance, thou 
art sweet ! 

Prud. Can you repeat some poetry — poetry ? 

Jones. I only know one poem. It is this : 

You'd scarce expect one of my age — age, 
To speak in public on the stage — stage. 

Prud. (Putting her lips to his ear and shouting.) Bravo — 
bravo ! 

Jones. (In the same way.) Thank you! Thank — 

Prud. (Putting her hands over her ears.) Mercy on us ! Do 

you think I am deaf, sir ? 

Jones. (Also stopping his ears.) And do you fancy me deaf, 
Miss ? 



364 CHOICE READINGS. 

{They now speak in their natural tones.} 
Prud. Are you not, sir ? You surprise me ! 
Jones. No, Miss. I was led to believe that you were deaf. 
Snobbleton told me so. 

Prud. Snobbleton ! Why, he told me that you were deaf. 
Jones. Confound the fellow ! he has been making game of us. 



>'^C>c 



DARIUS GKEEN AND HIS PLYING-MACHINE. 

J. T. Trowbridge. 

If ever there lived a Yankee lad, 

Wise or otherwise, good or bad, 

Who, seeing the birds fly, didn't jump 

With flapping arms from stake or stump, 

Or, spreading the tail of his coat for a sail, 

Take a soaring leap from post or rail, 

And wonder why lie couldn't fly, 

And flap and flutter and wish and try, — 

If ever you knew a country dunce 

Who didn't try that as often as once, 

All I can say is, that's a sign 

He never would do for a hero of mine. 

An aspiring genius was Dary Green : 

The son of a farmer, — age fourteen ; 

His bod} 7 was long and lank and lean, — 

Just right for flying, as will be seen ; 

He had two eyes as bright as a bean, 

And a freckled nose that grew between, 

A little awiy ; for I must mention 

That he had riveted his attention 

Upon his wonderful invention, 

Twisting his tongue as he twisted the strings, 

And working his face as he work'd the wings, 

And with every turn of gimlet or screw 

Turning and sere wins: his mouth round too, 



DARIUS GREEN AND HIS FLYING-MACHINE. 365 

Till his nose seem'd bent to catch the scent, 
Around some corner, of new-baked pies, 
And his wrinkled cheeks and his squinting eyes 
Grew pucker'd into a queer grimace, 
That made him look very droll in the face, 

And also very wise. 
And wise he must have been, to do more 
Than ever a genius did before, 
Excepting Daedalus of 3'ore 
And his son Icarus, who wore 
Upon their backs those wings of wax 
He had read of in the old almanacs. 
Darius was clearly of the opinion, 
That the air is also man's dominion, 
And that, with paddle or fin or pinion, 
We soon or late shall navigate 
The azure as now we sail the sea. 
The thing looks simple enough to me ; 

And, if you doubt it, 
Hear how Darius reason'd about it : 

" The birds can fly, an' wiry can't I? 

Must we give in," says he with a grin, 

" That the bluebird an' phcebe are smarter' n we be? 

Jest fold our hands, an' see the swaller 

An' blackbird an' catbird beat us holler? 

Does the little chatterin', sassy wren, 

No bigge'rn my thumb, know more than men? 

Jest show me that ! ur prove 't the bat 

Hez got more brains than's in my hat, 

An' I'll back down, an' not till then ! " 

He argued further : ' ' Nur I can't see 

What's th' use o' wings to a bumble-bee, 

Fur to git a livin' with, more'n to me ; — 

Ain't my business important' s his'n is? 

That Icarus made a pretty muss, — 

Him an' his daddy Daedalus ; 



366 CHOICE READINGS. 

They might 'a' know'd that wings made o' wax 
Wouldn't stand sun-heat an' hard whacks : 
I'll make mine o' luther, ur suthin' ur other." 

And he said to himself, as he tinker'd and plann'd, 

" But I ain't goin' to show my hand 

To nummies that never can understand 

The fust idee that's big an' grand." 

So he kept his secret from all the rest, 

Safely button'd within his vest ; 

And in the loft above the shed 

Himself he locks, with thimble and thread 

And wax and hammer and buckles and screws, 

And all such things as geniuses use ; — 

Two bats for patterns, curious fellows I 

A charcoal-pot and a pair of bellows ; 

Some wire, and several old umbrellas ; 

A carriage-cover, for tail and wings ; 

A piece of harness ; and straps and strings ; 

And a big strong box, in which he locks 

These and a hundred other things. 

His grinning brothers, Reuben and Burke 

And Nathan and Jotham and Solomon, lurke 

Around the corner to see him work, 

Sitting cross-legg'd, like a Turk, 

Drawing the wax'd-end through with a jerk, 

And boring the holes with a comical quirk 

Of his wise old head, and a knowing smirk. 

But A^ainly they mounted each other's backs, 

And poked through knot-holes and pried through cracks; 

With wood from the pile and straw from the stacks 

He plugg'd the knot-holes and calk'd the cracks ; 

And a dipper of water, which one would think 

He had brought up into the loft to drink 

When he chanced to be dry, 

Stood always nigh, for Darius was sh T ! 

And, whenever at work he happen'd to spy 



DARIUS GREEN AND HIS FLYING-MACHINE. 367 

At chink or crevice a blinking e}'e, 

He let the dipper of water fly : 

" Take that ! an', ef ever ye git a peep, 

Guess ye'll ketch a weasel asleep ! " 

And he sings as he locks his big strong box : 

u The weasel's head is small an' trim, 

An' he is little an' long an' slim, 

An' quick of motion an' nimble of limb, 

An', ef you'll be advised by me, 

Keep wide awake when ye're ketchin' him ! " 

So day after day 
He stitch'd and tinker'd and hammer'd away, 

Till at last 'twas done, — 
The greatest invention under the Sun ! 
" An' now," says Darius, " hoora}* fur some fun ! " 

'Twas the Fourth of July, and the weather was dry, 

And not a cloud was on all the sky, 

Save a few light fleeces, which here and there, 

Half mist, half air, 
Like foam on the ocean went floating by, — 
Just as lovely a morning as ever was seen 
For a nice little trip in a flying-machine. 
Thought cunning Darius, " Now I shan't go 
Along 'ith the fellers to see the show : 
I'll say I've got sich a terrible cough ! 
An' then, when the folks 'ave all gone off, 
I'll hev full swing fur to try the thing, 
An' practise a little on the wing." 

" Ain't goin' to see the celebration?" 
Says brother Nate. " No ; botheration ! 
I've got sich a cold — a toothache — I — 
My gracious ! — feel's though I should fly ! " 
Said Jotham, " 'Sho ! guess ye better go." 

But Darius said, " No ! 
Shouldn't wonder 'f you might see me, though, 



368 CHOICE READINGS. 

'Long 'bout noon, ef I git red 

O' this jumpin', thumpin' pain 'n my head." 

For all the while to himself he said, — 

"I tell ye what! 
I'll fly a few times around the lot, 
To see how 't seems, then soon's I've got 
The hang o' the thing, ez likely's not, 
I'll astonish the nation, an' all creation, 
By flyin' over the celebration ! 
Over their heads I'll sail like an eagle ; 
I'll balance myself on my wings like a sea-gull ; 
I'll dance on the chimbleys ; I'll stand on the steeple 
I'll flop up to winders an' scare the people ! 
I'll light on the libert}'-pole, an' crow ; 
An' I'll say to the gawpin' fools below, 
4 What world's this 'ere that I've come near?' 
Fur I'll make 'em b'lieve I'm a chap fm the Moon ; 
An' I'll try a race 'ith their ol' balloon ! " 

He crept from his bed ; 
And, seeing the others were gone, he said, 
" I'm gittin' over the cold 'n my head." 

And away he sped, 
To open the wonderful box in the shed. 

His brothers had walk'd but a little way, 

When Jotham to Nathan chanced to say, 

" What is the feller up to, hey? " 

" Don'o', — the's suthin' ur other to pay, 

Ur he wouldn't 'a' stay'd to hum to-day." 

Says Burke, " His toothache's all 'n his eye ! 

He never'd miss a Fo'th-o'-July, 

Ef he hedn't got some machine to try." 

Then Sol, the little one, spoke : " By darn 

Le's hurry back, an' hide 'n the barn, 

An' pay him fur tellin' us that yarn ! " 

" Agreed ! " Through the orchard they creep back, 



DARIUS GREEN AND HIS FLYING-MACHINE. 369 

Along by the fences, behind the stack, 
And one by one, through a hole in the wall, 
In under the dusty barn the}* crawl, 
Dress'd in their Sunday garments all ; 
And a ver}- astonishing sight was that, 
When each in his cobwebb'd coat and hat 
Came up through the floor like an ancient rat. 
And there they hid ; and Reuben slid 
The fastenings back, and the door undid. 

" Keep dark ! " said he, 
" While I squint an' see what the' is to see. 

As knights of old put on their mail, — 

From head to foot an iron suit, 

Iron jacket and iron boot, 

Iron breeches, and on the head 

No hat, but an iron pot instead, 

And under the chin the bail, 

(I believe they call'd the thing a helm,) — 

Then sallied forth to overwhelm 

The dragons and pagans that plagued the realm ; 

So this modern knight prepared for flight, 

Put on his wings and strapp'd them tight, — 

Jointed and jaunty, strong and light, — 

Buckled them fast to shoulder and hip, — 

Ten feet they measured from tip to tip ! 

And a helm had he, but that he wore, 

Not on his head, like those of yore, 

But more like the helm of a ship. 

" Hush ! " Reuben said, " he's up in the shed ! 
He's open'd the winder, — I see his head ! 
He stretches it out, an' pokes it about, 
Lookin' to see 'f the coast is clear, 

An' nobody near ; — 
Guess he don'o' who's hid in here ! 
He's riggin' a spring-board over ths sill ! 



370 CHOICE READINGS. 

Stop laffin', Solomon ! Burke, keep still ! 

He's a climbin' out now — Of all the things ! 

What's he got on? I van, it's wings ! 

An' that t'other thing? I vum, it's a tail ! 

An' there he sets like a hawk on a rail ! 

Steppin' careful, he travels the length 

Of his spring-board, and teeters to try its strength., 

Now lie stretches his wings, like a monstrous bat ; 

Peeks over his shoulder, this way an' that, 

Fur to see 'f the' \s any one passin' by, 

But the' 's on'3 7 a ca'f an' a goslin' nigh. 

They turn up at him wonderin' eye, 

To see — The dragon ! he's goin' to fly ! 

Awa} T he goes ! Jimminy ! what a jump ! 

Flop — flop — an' plump to the ground with a thump ! 

Flutt'rin' an' flound'rin', all'n a lump! " 

As a demon is hurl'd by an angel's spear, 

Heels over head, to his proper sphere, — 

Heels over head, and head over heels, 

Dizzily down the abyss he wheels, — 

So fell Darius. Upon his crown, 

In the midst of the barn-yard, he came down, 

In a wonderful whirl of tangled strings, 

Broken braces and broken springs, 

Broken tail and broken wings, • 

Shooting-stars, and various things, — 

Barnyard litter of straw and chaff, 

And much that wasn't so sweet by half. 

Away w r ith a bellow fled the calf, 

And what was that ? Did the gosling laugh ? 

'Tis a merry roar from the old barn-door, 

And he hears the voice of Jotham crying ; 

" Say, D'rius ! how do you like flyin'?" 

Slowly, ruefully, where he lay, 

Darius just turn'd and look'd that way, 

As he stanch'd his sorrowful nose with his cuff. 



how --ruby" played. 371 

44 Wal, I like flyin' well enough," 

He said ; " but the' ain't sich a thunderin' sight 

O' fun in't when ye come to light." 

I just have room for the moral here : 

And this is the moral, — Stick to your sphere ; 

Or, if you insist, as you have the right, 

On spreading }our wings for a loftier flight, 

The moral is, — Take care how you light. 



HOW "KUBY" PLAYED. 

Jud Browxix. 

Well, sir, he had the blamedest, biggest, catty-cornedest pianner 
you ever laid eyes on ; somethin' like a distracted billiard table on 
three legs. The lid was hoisted, and mighty well it was. If it 
hadn't been, he'd a tore the entire inside clean out, and scattered 
'em to the four winds of heaven. 

Played well ? You bet he did ; but don't interrupt me. When 
he first sit down, he 'peared to keer mighty little 'bout playin', and 
wisht he hadn't come. He tweedle-leede'd a little on the treble, 
and twoodle-oodled some on the base, — just foolin' and boxin' the 
thing's jaws for bein* in his way. And I says to a man settin' next 
to me, says I, "What sort of fool playin' is that?" And he says, 
" Heish ! " But presently his hands commenced chasin' one another 
up and down the keys, like a passel of rats scamperm through a 
garret very swift. Parts of it was sweet, though, and reminded me 
of a sugar squirrel turnin the wheel of a candy cage. 

" Now," I says to my neighbour, " he's showin' off. He thinks 
he's a-doin' of it, but he ain't got no idee, no plan of nothin'. If 
he'd play me a tune of some kind or other I'd — " 

But my neighbor says " Heish ! " very impatient. 

I was just about to git up and go home, bein' tired of that fool- 
ishness, when I heard a little bird waking up away off in the woods, 
and call sleepy-like to his mate, and I looked up, and see that Rubin 
was beginning to take some interest in his business, and I sit down 
again. It was the peep of day. The light came faint from the 
east, the breezes blowed gentle and fresh, some more birds waked 
np in the orchard, then some more in the trees near the house, and 



372 CHOICE READINGS. 

all begun singin' together. People began to stir, and the gal 
opened the shutters. Just then the first beam of the sun fell upon 
the blossoms a leetle more, and it techt the roses on the bushes, and 
the next thing it was broad day ; the sun fairly blazed, the birds 
sung like they'd split their little throats : all the leaves was movin', 
and flashin' diamonds of dew, and the whole wide world was bright 
and happy as a king. Seemed to me like there was a good break- 
fast in every house in the land, and not a sick child or woman any- 
where. It was a line mornin'. 

And I says to my neighbour, " That's music, that is.' v 

But he glared at me like he'd like to cut my throat. 

Presently the wind turned ; it begun to thicken up, and a kind 
of gray mist came over things ; I got low-spirited directly. Then 
a silver rain begun to fall. I could see the drops touch the ground ; 
some flashed up like long pearl ear-rings, and the rest rolled away 
like round rubies. It was pretty but melancholy. Then the pearls 
gathered themselves into long strands and necklaces, and then they 
melted into thin silver streams, running between golden gravels ; 
and then the streams joined each other at the bottom of the hill, 
and made a brook that flowed silent, except that you could kinder 
see the music, specially when the bushes on the banks moved as 
the music went along down the valley. I could smell the flowers 
in the meadow. But the Sun didn't shine, nor the birds sing ; it 
was a foggy day, but not cold. 

The most curious thing was the little white angel-boy, like you 
see in pictures, that run ahead of the music-brook, and led it on 
and on, away out of the world, where no man ever was, certain. I 
could see that boy just as plain as I see you. Then the moonlight 
came, without any sunset, and shone on the graveyards, where some 
few ghosts lifted their hands and went over the wall ; and between 
the black, sharp-top trees splendid marble houses rose up, with fine 
ladies in the lit-up windows, and men that loved 'em, but could 
never get a-nigh 'em, who played on guitars under the trees, and 
made me that miserable I could have cried, because I wanted to 
love somebody, I don't know who, better than the men with the 
guitars did. 

Then the Sun went down, it got dark, the wind moaned and wept 
like a lost child for its dead mother, and I could a got up then and 
there and preached a better sermon than any I ever listened to. 
There wasn't a thing in the world left to live for, not a blame 
thing, and yet I didn't want the music to stop one bit. It was 



how w 'ruby" played. 373 

happier to be miserable than to be happy without being miserable. 
I couldn't understand it. I hung my head and pulled out my 
handkerchief, and bio wed my nose loud to keep me from cryin'. 
My eyes is weak anyway ; I didn't want anybody to be a-gazin' at 
me a-snivlin', and it's nobody's business what I do with my nose. 
It's mine. But some several glared at me mad as blazes. Then, all 
of a sudden, old Rubin changed his tune. He ripped out and he 
rared, he tipped and he tared, he pranced and he charged like the 
grand entry at a circus. 'Peared to me that all the gas in the 
house was turned on at once, things got so bright, and I hilt up my 
head, ready to look any man in the face, and not afraid of nothin'. 
It was a circus, and a brass band, and a big ball all goin' on at the 
same time. He lit into them keys like a thousand of brick ; he 
give em no rest day or night ; he set every livin' joint in me a-goin' ; 
and, not bein' able to stand it no longer, I jumped spang onto my 
seat, and jest hollored, 

" Go it, my Rube ! " 

Every blamed man, woman, and child in the house riz on me, 
and shouted, " Put him out ! put him out ! " 

" Put your great grandmother's grizzly-gray-greenish cat into the 
middle of next month!" I says. "Tech me if you dare! I paid 
my money, and you jest come a-nigh me ! " 

With that some several policemen run up, and I had to simmer 
down. But I would a fit any fool that laid hands on me, for I was 
bound to hear Ruby out or die. v 

He had changed his tune again. He hop-light ladies and tip- 
toed fine from end to end of the key-board. He played soft and 
low and solemn. I heard the church bells over the hills. The 
candles of heaven was lit, one by one ; I saw the stars rise. The 
great organ of eternity began to play from the world's end to the 
world's end, and all the angels went to prayers. * * * * Then 
the music changed to water, full of feeling that couldn't be thought, 
and began to drop — drip, drop — drip, drop, clear and sweet, like 
tears of joy falling into a lake of glory. It was sweeter than that. 
It was as sweet as a sweet-heart sweetened with white sugar mixt 
with powdered silver and seed diamonds. It was too sweet. I 
tell you the audience cheered. Rubin he kinder bowed, like he 
wanted to say, " Much obleeged, but I'd rather you wouldn't in- 
terrup' me." 

He stopt a moment or two to ketch breath. Then he got mad. 
He run his fingers through his hair, he shoved up his sleeve, he 



374 CHOICE READINGS. 

opened his coat tails a leetle further, he drug up his stool, he leaned 
over, and, sir, he just went for that old pianner. He slapt her face, 
he boxed her jaws, he pulled her nose, he pinched her ears, and he 
scratched her cheeks until she fairly yelled. He knockt her down 
and he stampt on her shameful. She bellowed like a bull, she 
bleated like a calf, she howled like a hound, she squealed like a 
pig, she shrieked like a rat, and then he wouldn't let her up. He 
run a quarter stretch down the low grounds of the base, till he got 
clean in the bowels of the earth, and you heard thunder galloping 
after thunder, through the hollows and caves of perdition; and 
then he fox-chased his right hand with his left till he got way out 
of the treble into the clouds, whar the notes was finer than the pints 
of cambric needles, and you couldn't hear nothin' but the shadders 
of 'em. And then he wouldn't let the old pianner go. He far'ard 
two'd, he crost over first gentleman, he chassade right and left, 
back to your places, he all-hands'd aroun', ladies to the right, 
promenade all, in and out, here and there, back and forth, up and 
down, perpetual motion, double twisted and turned and tacked and 
tangled into forty-eleven thousand double bow-knots. 

By jinks ! it was a mixtery. And then he wouldn't let the old 
pianner go. He fecht up his right wing, he fecht up his left wing, 
he fecht up his center, he fecht up his reserves. He fired by file, 
he fired by platoons, by company, by regiments, and by brigades. 
He opened his cannon, — siege guns down thar, Napoleons here, 
twelve-pounders yonder, — big guns, little guns, middle-sized guns, 
round shot, shells, shrapnels, grape, canister, mortar, mines and 
magazines, every liviir battery and bom a-goin' at the same time. 
The house trembled, the lights danced, the walls shuk, the floor 
come up, the ceilin' come down, the sky split, the ground rockt, — 
heavens and earth, creation, sweet potatoes, Moses, ninepences, 
glory, ten-penny nails, Sampson in a 'simmon tree, Tump, Tompson 
in a tumbler-cart, roodle-oodle-oodle-oodle — ruddle-uddle-uddle- 
uddle — raddle-addle-addle-addle — riddle-iddle-iddle-iddle — reedle- 
eedle-eedle-eedle — p-r-r-r-rlank ! Bang ! ! ! lang ! perlang ! 
p-r-r-r-r-r ! ! Bang ! ! ! 

With that bang ! he lifted himself bodily into the a'r and he 
come down with his knees, his ten fingers, his ten toes, his elbows, 
and his nose, striking every single solitary key on the pianner at 
the same time. The thing busted and went off into seventeen 
hundred and fifty-seven thousand five hundred and forty-two hemi- 
demi-semi quivers, and I know'd no mo'. 



OUR GUIDES. 375 

When I come to, I were under ground about twenty foot, in a 
place they call Oyster Bay, treatin' a Yankee that I never laid eyes 
on before, and never expect to agin. Day was breakin' by the time 
I got to the St. Nicholas Hotel, and I pledge you my word I did 
not know my name. The man asked me the number of my room, 
and I told him, " Hot music on the half-shell for two ! " 



:>^< 



OUE GUIDES. 

Mark Twain. 

European guides know about enough English to tangle 
every thing up so that a man can make neither head nor tail 
of it. They know their story by heart, — the history of 
every statue, painting, cathedral, or other wonder they show 
you. They know it and tell it as a parrot would, — and if 
you interrupt, and throw them off the track, they have to go 
back and begin over again. All their lives long, the}' are 
employed in showing strange things to foreigners, and listen- 
ing to their bursts of admiration. 

It is human nature to take delight in exciting admiration. 
It is what prompts children to say " smart" things, and do 
absurd ones, and in other ways " show off" when company 
is present. It is what makes gossips turn out in rain and 
storm to go and be the first to tell a startling bit of news. 
Think, then, what a passion it becomes with a guide, whose 
privilege it is, every day, to show to strangers wonders that 
throw them into perfect ecstasies of admiration ! He gets 
so that he could not by any possibility live in a soberer 
atmosphere. 

After we discovered this, we never went into ecstasies any 
more, — we never admired any thing, — we never showed 
any but impassible faces and stupid indifference in the pres- 
ence of the sublimest wonders a guide had to display. We 
had found their weak point. We have made good use of it 
ever since. We have made some of those people savage, at 
times, but we have never lost our serenity. 



376 CHOICE READINGS. 

The doctor asks the questions generally, because he can 
keep his countenance, and look more like an inspired idiot, 
and throw more imbecility into the tone of his voice than 
an}' man that lives. It comes natural to him. 

The guides in Genoa are delighted to secure an American 
party, because Americans so much wonder, and deal so much 
in sentiment and emotion before any relic of Columbus. 
Our guide there fidgeted about as if he had swallowed a 
spring mattress. He was full of animation, — full of impa- 
tience. He said : 

"Come wis me, genteelmen ! — come! I show you ze 
letter writing by Christopher Colombo ! — write it himself ! 
— write it wis his own hand ! — come ! " 

He took us to the municipal palace. After much impres- 
sive fumbling of ke}'s and opening of locks, the stained and 
aged document was spread before us. The guide's eyes 
sparkled. He danced about us and tapped the parchment 
with his finger : 

"What I tell you, genteelmen! Is it not so? See! 
handwriting Christopher Colombo !■ — write it himself! " 

We looked indifferent, — unconcerned. The doctor ex- 
amined the document very deliberately, during a painful 
pause. Then he said, without any show of interest, — 

"Ah, — Ferguson, — what — what did you say was the 
name of the party who wrote this ? " 

" Christopher Colombo ! ze great Christopher Colombo ! " 

Another deliberate examination. 

" Ah, — did he write it himself, or, — or how? " 

" He write it himself ! — Christopher Colombo ! he's own 
handwriting, write by himself ! " 

Then the doctor laid the document down and said, — 

" Wiry, I have seen boys in America only fourteen years 
old that could write better than that." 

" But zis is ze great Christo — " 

"I don't care who it is! It's the worst writing I ever 
saw. Now you mustn't think }T>u can impose on us because 
we are strangers. We are not fools, by a good deal. If you 



OUR GUIDES. 61 t 

have got any specimens of penmanship of real merit, trot 
them out ! — and if }'0u haven't, drive on ! " 

We drove on. The guide was considerably shaken up, 
but he made one more venture. He had something which he 
thought would overcome us. He said, — 

" Ah, genteelmen, you come wis us ! I show you beauti- 
ful, O, magnificent bust Christopher Colombo! — splendid, 
grand, magnificent ! " 

He brought us before the beautiful bust, — for it ivas 
beautiful, — and sprang back and struck an attitude : 

" Ah, look, genteelmen ! — beautiful, grand, — bust Chris- 
topher Colombo ! — beautiful bust, beautiful pedestal ! " 

The doctor put up his eye-glass, procured for such occa- 
sions : 

" Ah, — what did you say this gentleman's name was? " 

" Christopher Colombo ! ze great Christopher Colombo ! " 

" Christopher Colombo, — the great Christopher Colombo. 
Well, what did he do?" 

" Discover America ! — discover America, O, ze devil ! " 

"Discover America? No, — that statement will hardly 
wash. We are just from America ourselves. We heard 
nothing about it. Christopher Colombo, — pleasant name ; 
— is — is he dead ? " 

" O corpo di Baccho ! — three hundred year ! " 

"What did he die of?" 

" I do not know. I cannot tell." 

" Small-pox, think? " 

" I do not know, genteelmen, — I do not know what he 
die of." 

"Measles, likely?" 

"Maybe, — maybe. I do not know, — I think he die of 
something." 

" Parents living?" 

tw Im-posseeble ! " 

" Ah, — which is the bust and which is the pedestal? " 

" Santa Maria ! — zis ze bust ! — zis ze pedestal ! " 

"Ah, I see, I see, — happy combination, — very happy 



378 CHOICE READINGS. 

combination indeed. Is — is this the first time this gentle- 
was ever on a bust? " 

"That joke was lost on the foreigner, — guides cannot 
master the subtleties of the American joke. 

We have made it interesting for this Roman guide. Yes- 
terday we spent three or four hours in the Vatican again, 
that wonderful world of curiosities. We came very near 
expressing interest sometimes, even admiration. It was 
hard to keep from it. We succeeded, though. Nobody else 
ever did, in the Vatican museums. The guide was bewild- 
ered, nonplussed. He walked his legs off, nearly, hunting 
up extraordinary things, and exhausted all his ingenuity on 
us, but it was a failure ; we never showed any interest in 
any thing. He had reserved what he considered to be his 
greatest wonder till the last, — a royal Egyptian mummy, 
the best preserved in the world, perhaps. He took us there. 
He felt so sure, this time, that some of his old enthusiasm 
came back to him : — 

" See, genteelmen ! — Mummy ! Mummy ! " 

The eye-glass came up as calmly, as deliberately as ever. 

"Ah, — Ferguson, — what did I understand you to say 
the gentleman's name was ? ' ' 

' ' Name ? — he got no name ! — Mummy ! — 'Gyptian 
mummy ! " 

" Yes, yes. Born here?" 

' ' No . ' Gypt ian m u mmy . ' ' 

" Ah, just so. Frenchman, I presume?" 

" No ! — not Frenchman, not Roman ! — born in Eg} T pta ! " 

" Born in Egypta. Never heard of Egypta before. For- 
eign locality, likely. Mummy, — mummy. How calm he is, 
how self-possessed ! Is — ah ! — is he dead ? " 

" O sacre bleu! been dead three thousan' year ! " 

The doctor turned on him savagely : 

" Here, now, what do you mean b} r such conduct as this? 
Playing us for Chinamen because we are strangers and trying 
to learn ! Trying to impose your vile secondhand carcasses 
on us! Thunder and lightning! I've a notion to — to — if 



mr. pickwick's proposal to mrs. bardell. 379 

you've got a nice fresh corpse, fetch him out! — or, by 
George, we'll brain 3-011 ! " 

We make it exceedingly interesting for this Frenchman. 
However, he has paid us back, partly, without knowing it. 
He came, to the hotel this morning to ask if we were up, and 
he endeavoured, as well as he could, to describe us, so that 
the landlord would know which persons he meant. He fin- 
ished with the casual remark that we were lunatics. The 
observation was so innocent and so honest that it amounted 
to a very good thing for a guide to sa} T . 

Our Roman Ferguson is the most patient, unsuspecting, 
long-suffering subject we have had yet. We shall be sony 
to part with him. We have enjoyed his society very much. 
We trust he has enjoyed ours, but we are harrassed with 
doubts. 

ME. PICKWICK'S PEOPOSAL TO MES. BAEDELL. 

Charles Dickens. 

It was evident that something of great importance was in 
contemplation, but what that something was not even Mrs. 
Bardell herself had been enabled to discover. 

" Mrs Bardell," said Mr. Pickwick at last, as that amiable 
female approached the termination of a prolonged dusting of 
the apartment. 

"Sir," said Mrs. Bardell. 

" Your little boy is a very long time gone." 

"Why. it is a good long way to the Borough, sir," remon- 
strated Mrs. Bardell. 

" Ah." said Mr. Pickwick, " very true ; so it is." 

Mr. Pickwick relapsed into silence, and Mrs. Bardell re- 
sumed her dusting. 

" Mrs. Bardell," said Mr. Pickwick at the expiration of a 
few minutes. 

" Sir," said Mrs. Bardell again. 

"Do you think it's a much greater expense to keep two 
people than to keep one? " 



380 CHOICE READINGS. 

" La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, colouring up to 
the very border of her cap, as she fancied she observed a 
species of matrimonial twinkle in the eyes of her lodger ; 
" La, Mr. Pickwick, what a question ! " 

" Well, but do you? " inquired Mr. Pickwick. 

"That depends," said Mrs. Bardell, approaching the 
duster very near to Mr. Pickwick's elbow, which was 
planted on the table ; ' ' that depends a good deal upon the 
person, you know, Mr. Pickwick ; and whether it's a saving 
and careful person, sir." 

"That's very true," said Mr. Pickwick; "but the person 
I have in my eye (here he looked very hard at Mrs. Bardell) 
I think possesses these qualities, and has, moreover, a con- 
siderable knowledge of the world, and a great deal of sharp- 
ness, Mrs. Bardell, which may be of material use to me." 

" La, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, the crimson ris- 
ing to her cap-border again. 

" I do," said Mr. Pickwick, growing energetic, as was his 
wont in speaking of a subject which interested him ; "I do, 
indeed ; and, to tell you the truth, Mrs. Bardell, I have 
made up my mind." 

" Dear me, sir ! " exclaimed Mrs. Bardell. 

"You'll think it not very strange now," said the amiable 
Mr. Pickwick, with a good-humoured glance at his compan- 
ion, " that I never consulted you about this matter, and never 
mentioned it till I sent your little boy out this morning, — 
eh?" 

Mrs. Bardell could only reply by a look. She had long 
worshipped Mr. Pickwick at a distance, but here she was, 
all at once, raised to a pinnacle to which her wildest and 
most extravagant hopes had never dared to aspire. Mr. 
Pickwick was going to propose, — a deliberate plan, too, — 
sent her little boy to the Borough to get him out of the way ; 
how thoughtful, — how considerate ! 

" Well," said Mr. Pickwick, " what do you think?" 

"O, Mr. Pickwick," said Mrs. Bardell, trembling with 
agitation, "you're very kind, sir." 



mr. pickwick's proposal to mrs. bardell. 381 

"It'll save you a good deal of trouble, won't it?" said 
Mr. Pickwick. 

" 0, I never thought an}* thing of the trouble, sir," re- 
plied Mrs. Bardell; "and of course, I should take more 
trouble to please you then than ever ; but it is so kind of 
you, Mr. Pickwick, to have so much consideration for my 
loneliness." 

"Ah, to be sure," said Mr. Pickwick ; " I never thought 
of that. When I am in town you'll always have somebody 
to sit with you. To be sure, so you will." 

"I'm sure I ought to be a very happy woman," said 
Mrs. Bardell. 

" And your little boy — " said Mr. Pickwick. 

" Bless his heart," interposed Mrs. Bardell, with a mater- 
nal sob. 

" He, too, will have a companion," resumed Mr. Pickwick, 
"a lively one, who'll teach him, I'll be bound, more tricks 
in a week than he would ever learn in a 3 r ear." And Mr. 
Pickwick smiled placidly. 

" O you dear ! " said Mrs. Bardell. 

Mr. Pickwick started. 

"O you kind, good, playful clear," said Mrs. Bardell; 
and without more ado, she rose from her chair and flung her 
arms around Mr. Pickwick's neck, with a cataract of tears 
and a chorus of sobs. 

"Bless my soul!" cried the astonished Mr. Pickwick; 
"Mrs. Bardell, my good woman — dear me, what a situa- 
tion — pray consider, Mrs. Bardell, don't — if anybody 
should come — " 

" O, let them come ! " exclaimed Mrs. Bardell, frantically ; 
" I'll never leave you, — dear, kind, good soul ; " and, with 
these words, Mrs. Bardell clung the tighter. 

"Mercy upon me!" said Mr. Pickwick, struggling vio- 
lently, " I hear somebocly coming up the stairs. Don't, 
don't, there's a good creature, don't." But entreat)' and re- 
monstrance were alike unavailing, for Mrs. Bardell had 
fainted in Mr. Pickwick's arms, and before he could gain 



382 CHOICE READINGS. 

time to deposit her on a chair, Master Bardell entered the 
room, ushering in Mr. Tupman, Mr. Winkle, and Mr. Snod- 
grass. 

SAM WELLEE'S VALENTINE. 

Charles Dickens. 

"I've done now," said Sam, with slight embarrassment; 
" I've been a-writin'." 

"So I see," replied Mr. Weller. " Not to any young 
'ooman, I hope, Sammy." 

" Why, it's no use a-sayin' it ain't," replied Sam. " It's a 
valentine." 

"A what?" exclaimed Mr. Weller, apparently horror- 
stricken b} r the word. 

" A walentine," replied Sam. 

" Samivel, Samivel," said Mr. Weller, in reproachful ac- 
cents, " I didn't think you'd ha' done it. Arter the warnin' 
you've had o' your father's wicious propensities ; arter all 
I've said to 3*011 upon this here wery subject ; arter actiwally 
seein' and bein' in the company o' } T our own mother-in-law, 
vich I should ha' thought was a moral lesson as no man 
could ever ha' forgotten to his dyin' day ! I didn't think 
3'ou'd ha' done it, Sammy, I didn't think you'd ha' done it." 
These reflections were too much for the good old man ; he 
raised Sam's tumbler to his lips and drank off the contents. 

" Wot's the matter now? " said Sam. 

" Nev'r mind, Sammy," replied Mr. Weller, "it'll be a 
wery agonizin' trial to me at m}' time o' life ; but I'm pretty 
tough, that's vun consolation, as the weiy old turkey re- 
marked ven the farmer said he vos afeerd he should be 
obliged to kill him for the London market." 

" Wot'll be a trial?" inquired Sam. 

" To see you married, Sammy ; to see you a deluded wic- 
tim, and thinkin' in your innocence that it's all wery capital," 
replied Mr. Weller. " It's a dreadful trial to a father's 
feelin's, that 'ere, Sammy." 



SAM weller's valentine. 383 

"Nonsense," said Sam, "I ain't a-goin' to get married; 
don't 3*ou fret yourself about that. I know }~ou're a judge o' 
these things ; order-in your pipe, and I'll read you the letter, 
— there ! " 

Sam clipped his pen into the ink to be ready for any cor- 
rections, and began with a very theatrical air, — 

"« Lovely — '" 

" Stop," said Mr. Weller, ringing the bell. " A double 
glass o' the inwariable, my dear." 

"Very well, sir," replied the girl, who with great quick- 
ness appeared, vanished, returned, and disappeared. 

" They seem to know your ways here," observed Sam. 

" Yes," replied his father, " I've been here before, in my 
time. Go on, Samnrv." 

" ' Lovely creetur',' " repeated Sam. 

" 'Taint in poetry, is it? " interposed the father. 

"No, no," replied Sam. 

" Wery glad to hear it," said Mr. Weller. " Poetry's 
unnat'ral. No man ever talked in poetry 'cept a beadle on 
boxin' day, or Warren's blackin', or Rowland's oil, or some 
o' them low fellows. Never you let } T ourself down to talk 
poetiy, m}' boy. Begin again, Saninry." 

Mr. Weller resumed his pipe with critical solemnity, and 
Sam once more commenced and read as follows : 

" ' Lovely creetur' i feel mj^self a damned — ' " 

" That ain't proper," said Mr. Weller, taking his pipe 
from his mouth. 

" No; it ain't damned," observed Sam, holding the letter 
up to the light, " it's k shamed,' there's a blot there ; l i feel 
myself ashamed.' " 

" Wery good," said Mr. Weller. " Go on." 

" ; Feel myself ashamed, and completely cir — ' I forget 
wot this 'ere word is," said Sam, scratching his head with 
the pen, in vain attempts to remember. 

" Why don't you look at it, then? " inquired Mr. Weller. 

"So I am a-lookin' at it," replied Sam, " but there's 
another blot ; here's a ' c,' and a ' i,' and a ' d.' " 



384 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Circumwented, p'rhaps," suggested Mr. Weller. 

u No, it ain't that," said Sam; " ' circumscribed,' that's 
it." 

" That ain't as good a word as circumwented, Sammy," 
said Mr. Weller, gravely. 

" Think not? " said Sam. 

" Nothin' like it," replied his father. 

" But don't you think it means more? " inquired Sam. 

" Veil, p'rhaps it's a more tenderer word," said Mr. 
Weller, after a few moments' reflection. " Go on, Sammy." 

" ' Feel myself ashamed and completely circumscribed in 
a-dressin' of you, for you are a nice gal, and nothin' but it.' " 

''That's a wery pretty sentiment," said the elder Mr. 
Weller, removing his pipe to make way for the remark. 

" Yes, I think it's rayther good," observed Sam, highly 
flattered. 

" Wot I like in that 'ere style of writin'," said the elder 
Mr. Weller, "is, that there ain't no callin' names in it, — no 
Wenuses, nor nothing o' that kind ; wot's the good o' callin' 
a .young 'ooman a Wenus or a angel, Sammy?" 

" Ah ! what indeed?" replied Sam. 

" You might just as veil call her a griffin, or a unicorn, or 
a king's-arms at once, which is wery veil known to be a col- 
lection o' fabulous animals," added Mr. Weller. 

" Just as well," replied Sam. 

" Drive on, Sammy," said Mr. Weller. 

Sam complied with the request, and proceeded as follows, 
his father continuing to smoke with a mixed expression of 
wisdom and complacency, which was particularly edifying : 

" ' Afore i see you i thought all women was alike.' ' : 

" So the} 7 are," observed the elder Mr. Weller, parentheti- 
cally. 

" ' But now,' " continued Sam, " ' now i find what a reg- 
'lar soft-headed, ink-red'lous turnip i must ha' been, for 
there ain't nobody like you, though i like you better than 
nothin' at all.' I thought it best to make that rayther 
strong," said Sam, looking up. 



SAM wellek's valentine. 385 

Mr. Weller nodded approvingly, and Sam resumed. 

" ' So i take the privilidge of the day, Mary, my dear, — 
as the gen'lm'n in difficulties did, ven he valked out of a 
Sunday, — to tell you that the first and only time i see you 
your likeness wos took on my hart in much quicker time and 
brighter colours than ever a likeness was taken by the prof eel 
macheen, (which p'rhaps you may have heerd on Mary my 
dear,) altho' it does finish a portrait, and put the frame and 
glass on complete with a hook at the end to hang it up by, 
and all in two minutes and a quarter.' " 

" I am afeerd that werges on the poetical, Sammy," said 
Mr. Weller, dubiously. 

"No it don't," replied Sam, reading on very quickly to 
avoid contesting the point. 

" ' Except of me Mary my dear as yoi\Y walentine, and 
think over what I've said. My dear Mary, I will now con- 
clude.' That's all," said Sam. 

" That's rayther a sudden pull up, ain't it, Sammy? " in- 
quired Mr. Weller. 

"Not a bit on it," said Sam; "she'll vish there wos 
more, and that's the great art o' letter writin'." 

" Well," said Mr. Weller, " there's somethin' in that ; and 
I wish } T our mother-in-law 'ud only conduct her conwersation 
on the same gen-teel principle. Ain't you a-goin' to sign 
it?" 

"That's the difficulty," said Sam; "I don't know what 
to sign it." 

"Sign it — Veller," said the oldest surviving proprietor 
of that name. 

"Won't do," said Sam. "Never sign a walentine with 
your own name." 

" Sign it Pickvick, then," said Mr. Weller ; " it's a wery 
good name, and a easy one to spell." 

" The wery thing," said Sam. " I could end with a werse ; 
what do 3'on think?" 

"I don't like it, Sam." rejoined Mr. Weller. " I never 
know'd a respectable coachman as wrote poetry, 'cept one as 



386 CHOICE READINGS. 

made an affectin' copy o' werses the night afore he wos hung 
for a highway robbery, and he wos only a Cambervell man ; 
so even that's no rule." 

But Sam was not to be dissuaded from the poetical idea 
that had occurred to him, so he signed the letter, — 
"Your love-sick 
Pickwick." 



PYRAMUS AND THISBE. 

John G. Saxe. 

This tragical tale, which, they say, is a true one, 

Is old ; but the manner is wholly a new one. 

One Ovid, a writer of some reputation, 

Has told it before in a tedious narration ; 

In a style, to be sure, of remarkable fullness, 

But which nobody reads on account of its dullness. 

Young Peter Pyramus, — I call him Peter, 

Not for the sake of the rhyme nor the metre, 

But merely to make the name completer, — 

For Peter lived in the olden times, 

And in one of the worst of pagan climes 

That flourish now in classical fame, 

Long before either noble or boor 

Had such a thing as a Christian name, — 

Young Peter, then, was a nice young beau 

As any young lady would wish to know ; 

In years, I ween, he was rather green, 

That is to say, he was just eighteen, — 

A trifle too short, a shaving too lean, 

But " a nice young man " as ever was seen, 

And fit to dance with a May-day queen ! 

Now Peter loved a beautiful girl 

As ever ensnared the heart of an earl 

In the magical trap of an auburn curl, — 



PTRAMUS AXD TEI SB1 5 5 7 

A little Miss Thisbe. who lived next door, 
(They lived, in fact- on the very same floor. 
With a wall between them and nothing more. — 
Those doable dwellings were common of voit 

Ai:'. :ir" '-_--:'- r-: A ::. t:. Ac Az-uls -:;-. 

In that Terr beautiful, boantifol way. 

That every young maid and every young blade 

Are wont to do before they grow staid. 

And learn to love by the laws of trade. ■ 

B~: :-::£■:-- :':: Ac A:- 1 izi Ay 

A lirLr :zi::^:::^ir-: Ac A ■' :'. AA: ;:y. 

A:: :" z:~- :iri: : ~- ..t Ac At^cs: ::::". — 

For some good reason, which history cloaks. 

The match didn't happen to please the old folks 

S Thisbe's father and Peter's mother 

Began the young couple to worry and bother. 

A;::: :: A.. AAr tuz:<r-Z A--- . i :■: ;n::lr: 

By keeping the lovers from seeing each other I 

But who ever heard of a marriage deterr d 

Or even deferr d 

By any. contrivance so very absurd 

As scolding the boy. and caging the bird? 

>~ : — . 

By obstacles such as the timid appal. 

Contrived to discover a hole in the wall. 

Which wasn't so thick but removing a brick 

M; At :i ; -s.^r — A: _'.::::.-: 7: :t; Ai A - ~ 1 

Through this little chink the lover could greet her. 

And secrecy made their courting the a 

While Peter kiss*d Thisbe. and Thisbe kiss'd Peter. — 

For kisses, like folks with diminutive souls. 

Will manage to creep through the smallest of holes ! 

Twas "-.- As: :if 1 " -- :.::-.- : - l:-~ 
L:,:: : -_:- A:A a:: :•: -^z :: : ?: : 

7:: -1- A: :. w« ? A AA ~~ Ac v^A ~;rA Ac zz: 



Ob© CHOICE READINGS. 

Whose hearts, it would seem, were uncommonly bold ones, 

To run off and get married in spite of the old ones. 

In the shadows of evening, as still as a mouse 

The beautiful maiden slipp'd out of the house, 

The mulberry-tree impatient to find ; 

While Peter, the vigilant matrons to blind, 

Stroll'd leisurely out some minutes behind. 

While waiting alone by the try sting-tree, 

A terrible lion as e'er you set eye on 

Came roaring along quite horrid to see, 

And caused the } T oung maiden in terror to flee ; 

(A lion's a creature whose regular trade is 

Blood, — and " and a terrible thing among ladies,") 

And, losing her veil as she ran from the wood, 

The monster bedabbled it over with blood. 

Now Peter, arriving, and seeing the veil 
All cover'd o'er and reeking with gore, 
Turn'cl, all of a sudden, exceedingly pale, 
And sat himself down to weep and to wail ; 
For, soon as he saw the garment, poor Peter 
Made up his mind in very short metre 
That Thisbe was dead, and the lion had eat her ! 
So breathing a prayer, he determined to share 
The fate of his darling, " the loved and the lost," 
And fell on his dagger, and gave up the ghost ! 

Now Thisbe returning, and viewing her beau 

Lying dead b}' her veil, (which she happen'd to know,) 

She guess'd in a moment the cause of his erring ; 

And, seizing the knife that had taken his life, 

In less than a jiffy was dead as a herring. 

r 

MORAL. 

Young gentlemen : Pray recollect, if you please, 
Not to make appointments near mulberry-trees. 
Should your mistress be missing, it shows a weak head 



HOW THE OLD HORSE WON THE BET. 389 

To be stabbing yourself, till you know she is dead. 
Young ladies : You shouldn't go strolling about 
When your anxious mammas don't know you are out ; 
And remember that accidents often befall 
From kissing young fellows through holes in the wall ! 

HOW THE OLD HOESE WOE" THE BET. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes. 

'Twas on the famous trotting-ground, 

The betting men were gather'd round 

From far and near ; the " cracks " were there 

Whose deeds the sporting prints declare : 

The swift g. m., Old Hiram's nag, 

The fleet s. h., Don Pfeiffer's brag, 

With these a third, — and who is he 

That stands beside his fast b. g. ? 

Budd Doble, whose catarrhal name 

So fills the nasal trump of fame. 

There, too, stood many a noted steed 

Of Messenger and Morgan breed ; 

Green horses also, not a few, — 

Unknown as yet what they could do ; 

And all the hacks that know so well 

The scourgings of the Sunday swell. 

Blue are the skies of opening day ; 
The bordering turf is green with May ; 
The sunshine's golden gleam is thrown 
On sorrel, chestnut, bay, and roan ; 
The horses paw and prance and neigh ; 
Fillies and colts like kittens play, 
And dance and toss their rippled manes 
Shining and soft as silken skeins ; 
Wagons and gigs are ranged about, 
And fashion flaunts her ga} T turnout : 



390 CHOICE READINGS. 

Here stands — each youthful Jehu's dream — 

The jointed tandem, ticklish team ! 

And there in ampler breadth expand 

The splendours of the four-in-hand ; 

On faultless ties and glossy tiles 

The lovely bonnets beam their smiles ; 

(The style's the man, so books avow ; 

The style's the woman anyhow ;) 

From flounces froth'd with creamy lace 

Peeps out the pug-dog's smutty face, 

Or spaniel rolls his liquid eye, 

Or stares the wiry pet of Sl<re, — 

woman, in your hours of ease 
So shy with us, so free with these ! 

" Come on ! I'll bet you two to one 

I'll make him do it ! " " Will you ? Done ! " 

What was it he was bound to do? 

1 did not hear, and can't tell you ; 
Pray listen till my story's through. 

Scarce noticed, back behind the rest, 

By cart and wagon rudely prest, 

The parson's lean and bony bay, 

Stood harness'd in his one-horse shay, — 

Lent to his sexton for the day. 

(A funeral, — so the sexton said ; 

His mother's uncle's wife was dead.) 

Like Lazarus bid to Dives's feast, 

So look'd the poor forlorn old beast ; 

His coat was rough, his tail was bare, 

The gra}' was sprinkled in his hair : 

Sportsmen and jockeys knew him not, 

And yet the} 7 say he once could trot 

Among the fleetest of the town, 

Till something crack'd and broke him down, — 

The steed's, the statesman's common lot ! 



HOW THE OLD HORSE WON THE BET. 391 

" And are we then so soon forgot? " 
Ah me ! I doubt if one of you 
Has ever heard the name " Old Blue," 
Whose fame through all this region rung 
In those old days when I was young ! 

" Bring forth the horse ! " Alas ! he show'd 
Not like the one Mazeppa rode : 
Scant-maned, sharp-back'd and shaky-kneed, 
The wreck of what was onee a steed. — 
Lips thin, eyes hollow, stiff in joints ; 
Yet not without his knowing points. 
The sexton laughing in his sleeve, 
As if 'twere all a make-believe, 
Led forth the horse, and as he laugh'd 
Unhitch' d the breeching from a shaft, 
Unclasp'd the rusty belt beneath. 
Drew forth the snaffle from his teeth, 
Slipp'd off his head-stall, set him free 
From strap and rein, — a sight to see ! 

So worn, so lean in every limb, 
It can't be they are saddling him ! 
It is ! His back the pig-skin strides, 
And flaps his lank rheumatic sides ; 
With look of mingled scorn and mirth 
The}' buckle round the saddle-girth ; 
With horsey wink and saucy toss 
A youngster throws his leg across. 
And so, his rider on his back, 
They lead him, limping, to the track, 
Far up behind the starting-point. 
Too limber out each stiffen 'd joint. 

As through the jeering crowd he pass'd, 
One pitying look old Hiram cast ; 
" Go it. ye cripple, while ye can ! " 



392 CHOICE READINGS. 

Cried out unsentimental Dan ; 

' ' A fast-clay dinner for the crows ! " 

Bndd Doble's scoffing shout arose. 

Slowly, as when the walking-beam 

First feels the gathering head of steam, 

With warning cough and threatening wheeze 

The stiff old charger crooks his knees ; 

At first with cautious step sedate, 

As if he dragg'd a coach of state ; 

He's not a colt ; he knows full well 

That time is weight and sure to tell ; 

No horse so sturdy but he fears 

The handicap of twenty years. 

As through the throng on either hand 
The old horse nears the judges' stand, 
Beneath his jockey's feather-weight 
He warms a little to his gait, 
And now and then a step is tried 
That hints to something like a stride. 

" Go ! " — Through his ear the summons stung, 

As if a battle-trump had rung ; 

The slumbering instincts long unstirr'd 

Start at the old familiar word ; 

It thrills like flame through every limb, — 

What mean his twenty years to him ? 

The savage blow his rider dealt 

Fell on his hollow flanks unfelt ; 

The spur that prick'd his staring hide 

Unheeded tore his bleeding side ; 

Alike to him are spur and rein, — 

He steps a five-year-old again ! 

Before a quarter pole was pass'd, 
Old Hiram said, " He's ooino- fast." 



HOW THE OLD HORSE WON THE BET. 393 

Long ere the quarter was a half, 

The chuckling crowd had ceased to laugh ; 

Tighter his frighten'd jockey clung 

As in a mighty stride he swung, 

The gravel flying in his track, 

His neck stretch'd out, his ears laid back, 

His tail extended all the while 

Behind him like a rat-tail file ! 

Off went a shoe, — away it spun, 

Shot like a bullet from a gun ; 

The quaking jockey shapes a prayer 

From scraps of oaths he used to swear ; 

He drops his whip, he drops his rein, 

He clutches fiercely for a mane ; 

He'll lose his hold, — he sways and reels, — 

He'll slide beneath those trampling heels ! 

The knees of many a horseman quake, 

The flowers on many a bonnet shake, 

And shouts arise from left and right, 

" Stick on ! stick on ! " " Hould tight ! hould tight ! " 

" Cling round his neck ; and don't let go, — 

That pace can't hold, — there ! steady ! whoa ! " 

But, like the sable steed that bore 

The spectral lover of Lenore, 

His nostrils snorting foam and fire, 

No stretch his bony limbs can tire ; 

And now the stand he rushes by, 

And " Stop him ! stop him ! " is the cry. 

Stand back ! he's only just begun, — 

He's having out three heats in one ! " 

" Don't rush in front ! he'll smash 3*0111* brains ; 

But follow up and grab the reins ! " 

Old Hiram spoke. Dan Pfeiffer heard, 

And sprang, impatient, at the word : 

Budd Doble started on his bay, 

Old Hiram follow'd on his gray, 

And off they spring, and round they go, 



394 CHOICE READINGS. 

The fast ones doing "all the} 7 know." 
Look ! twice they follow at his heels, 
As round the circling course he wheels, 
And whirls with him that clinging boy 
Like Hector round the walls of Troy. 
Still on, and on, the third time round ! 
The}- 're tailing off! they're losing ground ! 
Budd Doble's nag begins to fail ! 
Dan Pfeiffer's sorrel whisks his tail ! 
And see ! in spite of whip and shout, 
Old Hiram's mare is giving out ! 
Now for the finish ! At the turn, 
The old horse — all the rest astern — 
Comes swinging in, with easy trot; 
By Jove ! he's distanced all the lot ! 
That trot no mortal could explain ; 
Some said, " Old Dutchman come again ! ' : 
Some took his time, — at least, they tried, 
But what it was could none decide ; 
One said he couldn't understand 
What happen'd to his second-hand ; 
One said 2:10; that couldn't be, — 
More like two twenty-two or three ; 
Old Hiram settled it at last : 
" The time was two, — too mighty fast ! " 

The parson's horse had won the bet ; 
It cost him something of a sweat ; 
Back in the one-horse shay he went. 
The parson wonder'd what it meant, 
And murmur'd, with a mild surprise 
And pleasant twinkle of the e} T es, 
" That funeral must have been a trick, 
Or corpses drive at double quick ; 
I shouldn't wonder, 1 declare, 
If Brother Murray made the prayer ! " 



tom's little star. 395 



And this is all I have to say 

About the parson's poor old bay, 

The same that drew the one-horse shay, 

Moral for which this tale is told : 
A horse can trot, for all he's old. 



>XKc 



TOM'S LITTLE STAE. 

Fanny Foster. 

Sweet Man', pledged to Tom, was fair 
And graceful, young and slim : 

Tom loved her truly, and one dare 
Be sworn that she loved him ; 

For, twisting bashfully the ring- 
That seal'd the happy fiat, 

She coo'd, " When married in the Spring, 
Dear Tom, let's live so quiet ! 



Let's have our pleasant little place, 

Our books, a friend or two ; 
No noise, no crowd, but just your face 

For me, and mine for you. 
Won't that be nice ! " " It is my own 

Idea," said Tom, " so chary, 
So deep and true, my love has grown, 

I -worship you, my Mary." 

She was a tender, nestling thing, 

A girl that loved her home, 
A sort of dove with folded wing, 

A bird not made to roam, 
But gentry rest her little claw 

(The simile to carry) 
Within a husband's stronger paw, — 

The very girl to marry. 



396 CHOICE READINGS. 

Their courtship was a summer sea, 

So smooth, so bright, so calm, 
Till one day Mary restlessly 

Endured Tom's circling arm, 
And look'd as if she thought or planu'd, 

Her satiu forehead wrinkled, 
She beat a tattoo on his hand, 

Her e3~es were strange and twiukled. 

She never heard Tom's fond remarks, 

His " sweet} T -tweety dear," 
Or noticed once the little larks 

He play'd to make her hear. 
"What ails," he begg'd, "my petsy pet? 

What ails my love, I wonder?" 
" Do not be trifling, Tom. I've met 

Professor Shakespeare Thunder." 

" Thunder ! " said Tom ; " and who is he ? " 

" You goose ! why, don't } 7 ou know? " 
" I don't." She never frown'd at me, 

Or call'd me goose. " And though," 
Thought Tom, kC it may be playfulness, 

It racks my constitution." 
" Why, Thunder teaches with success 

Dramatic elocution." 

" O ! Ah ! Indeed ! and what is that? 

My notion is but faint." 
"It's art," said Mary, brisk and pat. 

Tom thought that " art" meant paint. 
" You blundering boy ! why, art is just 

What makes one stare and wonder. 
To understand high art } 7 ou must 

Hear Shakespeare read by Thunder." 

Tom started at the turn of phrase ; 
It sounded like a swear. 



tom's little star. 397 

Then Mary said, to his amaze, 

With nasal groan and glare, 
' ' ' To be or-r — not to be ? ' " And fain 

To act discreet yet gallant, 
He ask'd, " Dear, have you any — pain ? " 

" O, no, Tom ; I have talent. 

Professor Thunder told me so ; 

He sees it in my eye ; 
He says my tones and gestures show 

My destiny is high." 
Said Tom, for Mary's health afraid, 

His ignorance revealing, 
" Is talent, dear, that noise you made?" 

" Why, no ; that's Hamlet's feeling." 

" He must have felt most dreadful bad." 

" The character is mystic," 
Mary explain'd, " and very sad. 

And very high artistic. 
And you are not ; you're commonplace ; 

These things are far above you." 
" I'm only," spoke Tom's honest face, 

" Artist enough — to love you." 

From that time forth was Mary changed ; 

Her eyes stretch'd open wide ; 
Her smooth fair hair in friz arranged, 

And parted on the side. 
More and more strange she grew, and quite 

Incapable of taking 
The slightest notice how each night 

She set Tom's poor heart aching. 

As once he left her at the door, 

tv A thousand times good-night," 
Sigh'd Mary, sweet as ne'er before. 

Poor Tom revived, look'd bright. 



398 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Mary," he said, " you love me so? 

We have not grown asunder ? " 
" Do not be silly, Tom ; you know 

I'm studying with Thunder. 

That's from the famous Juliet scene. 

I'll do another bit." 
Quoth Tom, " I don't know what }~ou mean." 
' ' Then listen ; this is it : 

c Dear love, adieu. 
Anon, good nurse. Sweet Montague, be true. 
Stay but a little, I will come again.' 

Now, Tom, say ' blessed, blessed night ! ' " 

Said Tom, w r ith hesitation, 
" B-blessed night." " Pshaw ! that's not right ; 
You've no appreciation." 

At Tom's next call he heard up-stairs 

A laugh most loud and coarse ; 
Then Mary, knocking down the chairs, 

Came prancing like a horse. 
" ' Ha ! ha ! ha ! Well, Governor, how are 
ye? I've been down five times, climbing up 
your stairs in my long clothes.' 

That's comedy," she said. " You're mad," 

Said Tom. " ' Mad S ' Ha ! Ophelia ! 
' They bore him barefaced on his bier, 
And on his grave rain'd many a tear,' " 
She chanted, very wild and sad ; 
Then whisk' d off on Emilia : 
" ' You told a lie, an odious, fearful lie ; 
Upon my soul, a lie, a wicked lie.'" 

She glared and howl'd two murder-scenes, 

And mouth'd a new French roZe, 
Where luckily the graceful miens 

Hid the disgraceful soul. 
She wept, she danced, she sang, she swore, — 



I . :: 



LITTLE STAR. 399 



From Shakespeare. — classic swear _ 

Id. abstracted look she wore. 
And round the room went tearing. 

And every word and every panse 
Made Mary " quote a speech." 

If Tom was sad, (and he had cause,) 
She' say, in sobbing screech. 

• E C hiTbrd, why don't you speak to me?' 
At flowers foi ssent 

She leer'd, and sang coquettish 

• • • TThen daises pied and violets blue.' " 

Tom blurted. That's not pleasant." 
But Mary took off- this : 

•• You have no soul." - 
" For art. and do not know the bliss 

0: ::':>:•:•! iery. 
Th e sacred fire * they talk about 

Lights all tli y before me: 
It's mite my dnty t 

And all my friends implore me. 

Three mths :: Thunder I have found 

A :horough course," she -aid: 
"HI deai Parnassus with a boon 

(Tom softly shook his head.) 

• I annot fail to be the rage 

I .: rhousand pities,) 

• And so I'm going on the stage 
To star in Western cities 

Ann ; but Mary came 

To grief within a wee 
And in a month she came : T m, 

Quite gentle, sweet, and meek. 
Tom was rejoiced : his heart was none 

The hardest or the sterne-: 

0. Tom," she sobb'd It look'd like fun, 

But art is dreadful earner: 



400 CHOICE READINGS. 

Why, art means work, and slave, and bear 

All sorts of scandal too ; 
To dread the critics so 3*011 dare 

Not look a paper through ; 
O, ' art is long.' and hard." " And you 

Are short and — soft, my darling." 
"My money, Tom, is gone, — it Jlew." 

" That's natural with a starling." 

4 ' I love 3 7 ou more than words can say, 

Dear Tom." He gave a start. 
" Mary, is that from any play?" 

" No, Tom ; it's from my heart." 
He took the tired, sunny head, 

With all its spent ambitions, 
So gently to his breast, she said 

No word but sweet permissions. 

" Can you forgive me, Tom, for — " " Life," 

He finish'd out the phrase. 
" My love, you're pattern'cl for a wife : 

The crowded public ways 
Are hard for even the strongest heart ; 

Yours beats too softly human : 
However woman choose her art, 

Yet art must choose its woman." 

TOO LATE POE THE TKAItf. 

When they reached the depot, Mr. Mann and his wife 
gazed in unspeakable disappointment at the receding train, 
which was just pulling away from the bridge switch at the 
rate of a mile a minute. Their first impulse was to run after 
it, but as the train was out of sight and whistling for Sage- 
town before they could act upon the impulse, they remained 
in the carriage, and disconsolately turned their horses' heads 
homeward. 



TOO LATE FOR THE TRAIN. 401 

Mr. Mann broke the silence, very grimly: "It all comes 

of having to wait for a woman to get ready." 

" I was ready before you were," replied his wife. 

" Great Heavens," cried Mr. Mann, with great impatience, 
nearly jerking the horses' jaws out of place, "just listen to 
that ! And I sat in the buggy ten minutes yelling at you to 
come along until the whole neighborhood heard me." 

w * Yes," acquiesced Mrs. Mann, with the provoking placid- 
ity which no one can assume but a woman, " and every time 
I started down stairs you sent me back for something you 
had forgotten." 

Mr. Mann groaned. " This is too much to bear," he said, 
"when everybody knows that if I were going to Europe I 
would rush into the house, put on a clean shirt, grab up my 
grip-sack, and fly, while you would want at least six months 
for preliminary preparations, and then dawdle around the 
whole day of starting until every train had left town." 

Well, the upshot of the matter was that the Manns put off 
their visit to Aurora until the next week, and it was agreed 
that each one should get himself or herself ready and go 
down to the train and go. and the one who failed to get 
ready should be left. The da}" of the match came around in 
due time. The train was going at 10.30, and Mr. Mann, 
after attending to his business, went home at 9.45. 

"Now, then." he shouted, "only three-quarters of an 
hour's time. Fly around ; a fair field and no favours, you 
know." 

And away they flew. Mr. Mann bulged into this room, 
and flew through that one, and dived into one closet after 
another with inconceivable rapidity, chuckling under his 
breath all the time to think how cheap Mrs. Mann would 
feel when he started off alone. He stopped on his way up 
stairs to pull off his heavy boots to save time. For the same 
reason he pulled off his coat as he ran through the dining- 
room, and hung it on a corner of the silver closet. Then he 
jerked off his vest as he rushed through the hail, and tossed 
it on the hat-rack hook, and by the time he had reached his 



402 CHOICE READINGS. 

own room he was ready to plunge into his clean clothes. He 
pulled out a bureau drawer and began to paw at the things 
like a Scotch terrier after a rat. 

" Eleanor," he shrieked, " where are 1113' shirts?" 

" In your bureau drawer," calmly replied Mrs. Mann, 
who was standing before a glass calmly and deliberately 
coaxing a refractory crimp into place. 

"Well, but they ain't!" shouted Mr. Mann, a little an- 
noyed. "I've emptied every thing out of the drawer, and 
there isn't a thing in it I ever saw before." 

Mrs. Mann stepped back a few paces, held her head on 
one side, and, after satisfying herself that the crimp would 
do, replied, " Those things scattered around on the floor are 
all mine. Probably you haven't been loooking into 3-our 
own drawer." 

"I don't see," testily observed Mr. Mann, "why you 
couldn't have put my things out for me when you had noth- 
ing else to do all the morning." 

"Because," said Mrs. Mann, setting herself into an addi- 
tional article of raiment with awful deliberation, " nobody 
put mine out for me. A fair field and no favours, my dear." 

Mr. Mann plunged into his shirt like a bull at a red flag. 

" Foul ! " he shouted in malicious triumph ; " No buttons 
on the neck ! " 

"Because," said Mrs. Mann, sweetly, after a deliberate 
stare at the fidgeting, impatient man, during which she but- 
toned her dress and put eleven pins where they would do the 
most good, " because you have got the shirt on wrong side 
out." 

When Mr. Mann slid out of the shirt be began to sweat. 
He dropped the shirt three times before he got it on, and 
while it was over his head he heard the clock strike ten. 
When his head came through he saw Mrs. Mann coaxing the 
ends and bows of her necktie. 

" Where are my shirt studs?" he cried. 

Mrs. Mann went out into another room, and presently 
came back with gloves and hat, and saw Mr. Mann emptying 



TOO LATE FOR THE TRAIN. 403 

all the boxes he could find in and around the bureau. Then 
she said, " In the shirt you just pulled off." 

Mrs. Mann put on her gloves while Mr. Mann hunted up 
and down the room for his cuff-buttons. 

" Eleanor," he snarled, at last, " I believe }'OU must know 
where those cuff -buttons are." 

"I haven't seen them," said the lady, settling her hat; 
" didn't you lay them down on the window-sill in the sitting- 
room last night?" 

Mr. Mann remembered, and he went down-stairs on the run. 
He stepped on one of his boots, and was immediately landed 
in the hall at the foot of the stairs with neatness and dis- 
patch, attended in the transmission with more bumps than 
he could count with Webb's Adder, and landed with a bang 
like the Hell-Gate explosion. 

"Are you nearly read} T , Algernon?" sweetly asked the 
wife of his bosom, leaning over the banisters. 

The unhappy man groaned. " Can't you throw me down 
the other boot?" he asked. 

Mrs. Mann, pityingly, kicked it down to him. 

" My valise?" he inquired, as he tugged at the boot. 

" Up in your dressing-room," she answered. 

"Packed?" 

" I do not know ; unless you packed it 3'ourself, probably 
not," she replied, with her hand on the door-knob ; " I had 
barely time to pack my own." 

She was passing out of the gate when the door opened, 
and he shouted, " Where in the name of goodness did you 
put my vest? It has all my money in it ! " 

" You threw it on the hat rack," she called. " Good-bye, 
dear." 

Before she got to the corner of the street she was hailed 
again : 

" Eleanor ! Eleanor ! Eleanor Mann ! Did you wear off 
my coat ? " 

She paused and turned, after signalling the street car to 
stop, and cried, " You threw it in the silver-closet." 



404 CHOICE READINGS. 

The street car engulfed her graceful form, and she was seen 
no more. But the neighbours say that they heard Mr. Mann 
charging up and down the house, rushing out of the front 
door every now and then, shrieking after the unconscious 
Mrs. Mann, to know where his hat was, and where she put 
the valise-key, and if she had his clean socks and under- 
shirts, and that there wasn't a linen collar in the house. And, 
when he went away at last, he left the kitchen door, the side 
door, and the front door, all the down-stairs windows, and the 
front gate, wide open. 

The loungers around the depot were somewhat amused, 
just as the train was pulling out of sight down in the yards, 
to see a flushed, enterprising man, with his hat on sideways, 
his vest unbuttoned and necktie flying, and his grip-sack 
flapping open and shut like a demented shutter on a March 
night, and a door-key in his hand, dash wildly across the 
platform and halt in the middle of the track, glaring in 
dejected, impotent, wrathful mortification at the departing 
train, and shaking his fist at a pretty woman who was throw- 
ing kisses at him from the rear platform of the last car. 

KEPLECTIONS IN THE PILLOEY. 

Charles Lamb. 

Scene, — Opposite the Royal Exchange. 
Time, — Twelve to One, Noon. 

Ketch, my good fellow, you have a neat hand. Prithee 
adjust this new collar to my neck gingerly. I am not used 
to these wooden cravats. There, softly, softly ! That 
seems the exact point between ornament and strangulation. 
A thought looser on this side. Now it will do. And have 
a care, in turning me, that I present my aspect due verti- 
cally. I now face the orient. In a quarter of an hour I 
shift southward, — do you mind? — and so on till I face the 
east again, travelling with the Sun. No half -points, I be- 
seech you, — N. N. by W., or any such elaborate niceties. 



REFLECTIONS IN THE PILLORY. 405 

The}' become the shipman's card, but not this mystery. 
Now leave me a little to my own reflections. 

Bless us, what a company is assembled in honour of me ! 
How grand I stand here ! I never felt so sensibly before 
the effect of solitude in a crowd. I muse in solemn silence 
upon that vast miscellaneous rabble in the pit there. From 
my private box I contemplate, with mingled pity and won- 
der, the gaping curiosity of those underlings. There are my 
Whitechapel supporters. Rosemary Lane has emptied her- 
self of the very flower of her citizens to grace my show. 
Duke's Place sits desolate. What is there in my face, that 
strangers should come so far from the east to gaze upon it? 
[Here an egg narrowly misses him.'] That offering was well 
meant, but not so cleanly executed. B3- the tricklings, it 
should not be either myrrh or frankincense. Spare your 
presents, m} T friends : I am noways mercenary. I desire no 
missive tokens of your approbation. I am past those valen- 
tines. Bestow those coffins of untimely chickens upon 
mouths that water for them. Comfort 3 T our addle spouses 
with them at home, and stop the mouths of your brawling 
brats with such Olla Podridas : they have need of them. 
\_A brick is let fly.] Disease not, I pray you, nor dismantle 
your rent and ragged tenements, to furnish me with architec- 
tural decorations, which I can excuse. This fragment might 
have stopped a flaw against snow comes. [A coal flies.] 
Cinders are dear, gentlemen. This nubbling might have 
helped the pot boil, when your dirty cuttings from the sham- 
bles at three-ha'pence a pound shall stand at a cold simmer. 
Now, south about, Ketch. I would enjoy Australian popu- 
larity. 

What, nry friends from over the water! Old benchers, — 
flies of a day — ephemeral Romans, — welcome! Doth the 
sight of me draw souls from limbo ? Can it dispeople purga- 
tory ? — Ha ! 

What am I, or what was my father's House, that I should 
thus be set up a spectacle to gentlemen and others ? Why 
are all faces, like Persians at the sunrise, bent singly on 



406 CHOICE READINGS. 

mine alone ? It was wont to be esteemed an ordinary vis- 
nomy, a quotidian merely. Doubtless these assembled 
myriads discern some traits of nobleness, gentility, breeding, 
which hitherto have escaped the common observation, — 
some intimations, as it were, of wisdom, valour, piet}-, and 
so forth. My sight dazzles ; and, if I ani not deceived by 
the too-familiar pressure of this strange neckcloth that en- 
velops it, my countenance gives out lambent glories. For 
some painter now to take me in the luckj T point of expres- 
sion ! — the posture so convenient ! — the head never shift- 
ing, but standing quiescent in a sort of natural frame. But 
these artisans require a westerly aspect. Ketch, turn me. 

Something of St. James's air in these my new friends. 
How my prospects shift and brighten ! Now, if Sir Thomas 
Lawrence be anywhere in that group, his fortune is made for 
ever. I think I see some one taking out of a cra3*on. I 
will compose my whole nice to a smile, which } T et shall not 
so predominate but that gravity and gayety shall contend, as 
it were, — } T ou understand me? I will work up my thoughts 
to some mild rapture, — a gentle enthusiasm, — which the 
artist may transfer, in a manner, warm to the canvas. I 
will inwardly apostrophize my tabernacle. 

Delectable mansion, hail ! House not made of every 
wood! Lodging that pays no rent; airy and commodious; 
which, owing no window tax, art yet all casement, out of 
which men have such pleasure in peering and overlooking, 
that they will sometimes stand an hour together to enjoy thy 
prospects ! Cell, recluse from the vulgar ! Quiet retire- 
ment from the great Babel, yet affording sufficient glimpses 
into it ! Pulpit, that instructs without note or sermon-book ; 
into which the preacher is inducted without tenth or first- 
fruit ! Throne, unshared and single, that disdainest a Brent- 
ford competitor ! Honour without corrival ! Or nearest 
thou, rather, magnificent theatre, in which the spectator 
comes to see and to be seen ? From thy giddy heights I 
look down upon the common herd, who stand with eyes up- 
turned, as if a winged messenger hovered over them : and 



REFLECTIONS IN THE PILLORY. 407 

mouths open as if they expected manna. I feel, I feel, the 
true Episcopal yearnings. Behold in me, my flock, your 
true overseer! What though I cannot lay hands, because 
my own are laid ; 3~et I can mutter benedictions. True 
otium cum dignitate ! Proud Pisgah eminence ! pinnacle sub- 
lime ! O Pillory ! 'tis thee I sing ! Thou younger brother 
to the gallows, without his rough and Esau palms, that with 
ineffable contempt surveyest beneath thee the grovelling 
stocks, which claim presumptuously to be of thy great race ! 
Let that low wood know that thou art far higher born. Let 
that domicile for groundling rogues and base earth-kissing 
varlets envy thy preferment, not seldom fated to be the 
wanton baiting-house, the temporary retreat, of poet and of 
patriot. Shades of Bastwick and of Piynne hover over thee, 
— Defoe is there, and more greatly daring Shebbeare, — 
from their (little more elevated) stations they look down 
with recognitions. Ketch, turn me. 

I now veer to the north. Open your widest gates, thou 
proud Exchange of London, that I may look in as proudly ! 
Gresham's wonder, hail ! I stand upon a level with all your 
kings. They and I, from equal heights, with equal super- 
ciliousness, o'erlook the plodding money-hunting tribe below, 
who, busied in their sordid speculations, scarce elevate their 
eyes to notice your ancient, or my recent, grandeur. The 
second Charles smiles on me from three pedestals ! He 
closed the Exchequer : I cheated the Excise. Equal our 
darings, equal be our lot. 

Are those the quarters? 'tis their fatal chime. That the 
ever-winged hours would but stand still ! but I must de- 
scend, — descend from this dream of greatness. Stay, stay 
a little while, importunate hour-hand ! A moment or two, 
and I shall walk on foot with the undistinguished many. 
The clock speaks one. I return to common life. Ketch, 
let me out. 



408 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG. 

Oliver Goldsmith. 

Good people all of every sort, 

Give ear unto my song ; 
And, if you find it wondrous short, 

It cannot hold you long. 

In Islington there was a man, 
Of whom the world might say 

That still a godly race he ran, 
Whene'er he went to pray. 

A kind and gentle heart he had, 
To comfort friends and foes ; 

The naked every day he clad — 
When he put on his clothes. 

And in that town a dog was found, ' 

As man}- dogs there be, 
Both mongrel, puppj', whelp, and hound, 

And curs of low degree. 

This dog and man at first were friends ; 

But, when a pique began, 
The dog, to gain some private ends, 

Went mad and bit the man. 

Around from all the neighbouring streets 
The wondering neighbours ran, 

And swore the dog had lost his wits, 
To bite so good a man. 

The wound it seem'd both sore and sad 

To every Christian eye ; 
And, while they swore the dog was mad, 

They swore the man would die. 



BETSY AND I ARE OUT. 409 

But soon a wonder came to light. 

That showed the rogues they lied ; 
The man recover' d of the bite, 

The dog it was that died. 



BETSY ATO I ARE OUT. 

Will Carletox. 

Draw up the papers, lawyer, and make 'em good and stout, 
For things at home are cross-ways, and Betsy and I are out, — 
We who have work'd together so long as man and wife 
Must pull in single harness the rest of our nat'ral life. 

■• What is the matter," says you? I swan ! it's hard to tell! 
Most of the years behind us we're pass'd by very well : 
I have no other woman, — she has no other man ; 
Only we've lived together as long as ever we can. 

So I have talk'd with Betsy, and Betsy has talk'd with me ; 
And we've agreed together that we can never agree ; 
Xot that we've catch'd each other in any terrible crime ; 
We've been a gatherin' this for years, a little at a time. 

There was a stock of temper we both had, for a start ; 
Although we ne'er suspected 'twould take us two apart : 
I had my various failings, bred in the flesh and bone, 
And Betsy, like all good women, had a temper of her own. 

The first thing, I remember, whereon we disagreed, 
Was somethin' concerning Heaven, — a difference in our creed; 
We arg'ed the thing at breakfast, — we arg'ed the thing at tea, — 
And the more we arg'ed the question, the more we couldn't agree. 

And the nest that I remember was when we lost a cow ; 

She had kick'd the bucket, for certain, — the question was only — 

How? 
I held my opinion, and Betsy another had ; 
And when we were done a-talkin", we both of us was mad. 

And the next that I remember, it started in a joke; 
But for full a week it lasted, and neither of us spoke : 
And the next was when I fretted because she broke a bowl ; 
And she said I was mean and stingy, and hadn't any soul. 



410 CHOICE READINGS. 

And so the thing kept workin', and all the self-same way; 
Always somethin' to ar'ge, and something sharp to say, — 
And down on us came the neighbours, a couple o' dozen strong, 
And lent their kindest sarvice to help the thing along. 

And there have been days together — and many a weary week — 
When both of us were cross and spunky, and both too proud, to 

speak ; 
And I have been thinkin' and thinkin', the whole of the Summer 

and Fall, 
If I can't live kind with a woman, why. then I won't at all. 

And so I've talk'd with Betsy, and Betsy has talk'd with me ; 
And we have agreed together that we can never agree ; 
And what is hers shall be hers, and what is mine shall be mine ; 
And I'll put it in the agreement and take it to her to sign. 

Write on the paper, lawyer, — the very first paragraph, — 
Of all the farm and live stock, she shall have her half ; 
For she has help'd to earn it, through many a weary day, 
And it's nothin' more than justice that Betsy has her pay. 

Give her the house and homestead ; a man can thrive and roam, 
But women are wretched critters, unless they have a home. 
And I have always determined, and never f ail'd to say, 
That Betsy should never want a home, if I was taken away. 

There's a little hard money besides, that's drawin' tol'rable pay, 
A couple of hundred dollars laid by for a rainy day, — 
Safe in the hands of good men, and easy to get at ; 
Put in another clause there, and give her all of that. 

I see that you are smiling, sir, at my givin' her so much ; 
Yes, divorce is cheap, sir, but I take no stock in such : 
True and fair I married her, when she was blithe and } r oung, 
And Betsy was always good to me, exceptin' with her tongue. 

When I was young as you, sir, and not so smart, perhaps, 
For me she mitten'd a lawyer, and several other chaps ; 
And all of 'em was fluster'd, and fairly taken down, 
And for a time I was counted the luckiest man in town. 



HOW BETSY AND I MADE UP. 411 

Once, when I had a fever, — T won't forget it soon. — 

I was hot as a basted turkey and crazy as a loon, — 

Never an hour went by me when she was out of sight; 

She nursed me true and tender, and stuck to me day and night. 

And if ever a house was tidy, and ever a kitchen clean, 
Her house and kitchen was tidy as any I ever seen ; 
And" I don't complain of Betsy or any of her acts, 
Exceptin' when we've quarrell'd, and told each other facts. 

So draw up the paper, lawyer; and I'll go home to-night, 

And read the agreement to her, and see if it's all right ; 

And then in the mornin' I'll sell to a tradin' man I know ; 

And kiss the child that was left to us, and out in the world I'll go. 

And one thing put in the paper, that first to me didn't occur ; 
That when I am dead at last she will bring me back to her, 
And lay me under the maple we planted years ago, 
When she and I was happy, before we quarrell'd so. 

And, when she dies, I wish that she would be laid by me ; 
And, lyin' together in silence, perhaps we'll then agree ; 
And, if ever we meet in Heaven, I wouldn't think it queer 
If we loved each other the better because we've quarrell'd here. 

HOW BETSY AND I MADE UP. 

Will Carleton. 

Give me your hand, Mr. Lawyer ; how do you do to-day ? 
You drew up that agreement, — I s'pose you want your pay : 
Don't cut down your figures ; make it an X. or a V. ; 
For that 'ere written agreement was just the makin' of me. 

Gom' home that evenin', I tell you I was blue, 

Thinkin' of all my troubles, and what I was goin' to do ; 

And, if my hosses hadn't been the steadiest team alive, 

They'd 've tipp'd me over, certain, for I couldn't see where to drive. 

No, — for I was laborin' under a heavy load; 
No, — for I was travelin' an entirely different road ; 
For I was a-tracin' over the path of our lives ag'in, 
And seein' where we miss'd the way, and where we might have 
been. 



412 CHOICE READINGS. 

And many a corner we'd turn'd that just to a quarrel led, 
When I ought to've held my temper, and driven straight ahead ; 
And the more I thought it over the more these memories came, 
And the more I struck the opinion that I was the most to blame. 

And things I had long forgotten kept rishV in my mind, 

Of little matters betwixt us, where Betsy was good and kind ; 

And these things they flash 'd all through me, as you know things 

sometimes will, 
When a feller's alone in the darkness, and every thing is still. 

" But," says I, " we're too far along to take another track, 
And when I put my hand to the plough I do not oft turn back ; 
And 'taint an uncommon thing now for couples to smash in two," 
And so I set my teeth together, and vow'd I'd see it through. 

When I came in sight o' the house 'twas some'at in the night, 
And just as I turn'd a hill-top I see the kitchen light ; 
Which often a han'some pictur' to a hungry person makes, 
But it don't interest a feller much that's goin' to pull up stakes. 

And when I went in the house the table w 7 as set for me, — 

As good a supper's I ever saw, or ever want to see ; 

And I cramnVd the agreement down in my pocket as well as I 

could, 
And fell to eatin' my victuals, which somehow didn't taste good. 

And Betsy she pretended to look about the house, 

But she watch'd my side coat pocket like a cat would watch a 

mouse ; 
And then she went to foolin' a little with her cup, 
And intently readin' a newspaper, a-holdin' it wrong side up. 

And when I'd done my supper I draw'd the agreement out, 
An give it to her without a word, for she know'd what 'tw T as about, 
And then I humm'd a little tune, but now and then a note 
Was bu'sted by some animal that hopp'd up in my throat. 

Then Betsy she got her specks from off the mantle-shelf, 
And read the article over quite softly to herself; 
Head it by little and little, for her eyes is gettin' old, 
And lawyers' writin' ain't no print, especially when it's cold. 



HOW BETSY AND. I MADE UP. 413 

And after she'd read a little she give my arm a touch, 

And kindly said she was afraid I was 'lowin' her too much ; 

But when she was through she went for me, her face a-streamin' 

with tears, 
And kiss'd me for the first time in over twenty years. 

I don't know what you'll think, Sir, — I didn't come to inquire, — 
But I pick'd up that agreement and stuff'd it in the fire ; 
And I told her we'd bury the hatchet alongside of the cow ; 
And we struck an agreement never to have another row. 

And I told her in the future I would'nt speak cross or rash, 
If half the crockery in the house was broken all to smash ; 
And she said in regard to Heaven, we'd try and learn its worth 
By startin' a branch establishment and runnin' it here on Earth. 

And so we sat a-talkin' three-quarters of the night, 
And open'd our hearts to each other until they both grew light; 
And the days when I was winnin' her away from so many men 
Was nothin' to that evenin' I courted her over again. 

Next mornin' an ancient virgin took pains to call on us, 
Her lamp all trimm'd and a-burnin 1 to kindle another fuss; 
But, when she went to pryin 1 and openin 1 of old sores, 
My Betsy rose politely, and show'd her out-of-doors. 

Since then I don't deny but there's been a word or two ; 
But we've got our eyes wide open, and know just what to do : 
When one speaks cross the other just meets it with a laugh, 
And the first one's ready to give up considerable more than half. 

Maybe you'll think me soft, Sir, a-talkin' in this style, 
But somehow it does me lots of good to tell it once in a while ; 
And I do it for a compliment, — 'tis so that you can see 
That that there written agreement of yours was just the makin' of 
me. 

So make out your bill, Mr. Lawyer ; don't stop short of an X. ; 
Make it more if you want to, for I have got the checks : 
I'm richer than a National Bank, with all its treasures told, 
For I've got a wife at home now that's worth her weight in gold. 



414 CHOICE READINGS. 



X. 
DIALECTIC. 

COCKNEY. 
LORD DOTDREARY PROPOSING. 

F. J. Skill. 

Any fellah feelth nervouth when he knowth he'th going to 
make an ath of himthelf . 

That's vewy twue, — I — I've often thed tho before. But 
the fact is, evew} T fellah dothn't make an ath of himthelf, at 
least not quite such an ath as I've done in my time. I — 
don't mind telling you, but 'pon my word now, — I — I've 
made an awful ath of mythelf on thome occathions. You 
don't believe it now, — do you ? I — thought you wouldn't ; 
but I have now — iveally. Particularly with wegard to women. 
To tell the twuth, that is my weakneth, — I s'pose I'm what 
the} T call a ladies' man. The pwetty cweachaws like me, — 
I know they do, — though they pwetend not to do so. It — 
it's the way with some fellahs. Let me see, — where was I? 
O, I rekomember, — or weckolect, — which is it? Never 
mind ; I was saying that I was a ladies' man. 

I wanted to tell you of one successful advenchaw I had, 
— at least, when I say successful, I mean it would have been 
as far as J was concerned, — but, of course, when two people 
are engaged, — or wather, when one of 'em wants to be en- 
gaged, one fellah by himthelf can't engage that he'll engage 
affections that are otherwise engaged. By the way, what a 
lot of 'gages that was in one thentence, and yet — it seems 
quite fruitless. Come, that's pwetty smart, that is — for 



LORD DUNDREARY PROPOSING. 415 

Well, as I was saying, — I mean, as I meant to have said, 
— when I was stopping down at Wockingham, with the Wid- 
leys, last Autumn, there was a mons'ous jolly' girl staying 
there too. I don't mean two girls, you know, — ou\y — only 
one girl — But stop a minute, — is that right? How could 
one girl be stopping there tivof What doosid queer expres- 
sions there are in the English language ! Stopping there 
too! It's vewy odd. I — I'll swear there was only one 
girl, — at least, the one that I mean was only one, — if she'd 
been two, of course, I should have known it, — let me see 
now, one is singular, and two is plural, — well, you know, 
she icas a singular girl, — and she — she was one too many 
for me. Ah, I see now, — that accounts for it, — one two 
many — of course — I knew there was a two somewhere. 
She had a vewy queer name, Miss — miss — Missmiss, no 
not Miss Missmiss — I always miss the wrong — I mean the 
right name, — Miss Chaffingham, — that's it, — Charlotte' 
Chaffingham. 

At the top of the long walk at Wockingham there is a 
summer-house, — a jolly sort of place, with a lot of ferns and 
things about, and behind there are a lot of shrubs and bushes 
and pwickly plants, which give a sort of rural or wurwal — 
which is it? blest if I know — look to the place, and as it 
was vewy warm, I thought if I'm ever to make an ath of 
mythelf by pwoposing to this girl, — I won't do it out in the 
eye of the Sun, — it's so pwecious hot. So I pwoposed we 
should walk in and sit down, and so we did, and then I 
began : 

4i Miss Chaffingham, now, don't you think it doosid cool? " 

" Cool, Lord D., " she said; " why, I thought you were 
complaining of the heat." 

" I beg your pardon," I said, '*I — I — can't speak vewy 
fast," (the fact is, that a beathly wasp was buthhiug about 
me at the moment,) " and I hadn't quite finished my then- 
tence. I was going to say, don't you think it doosid cool of 
Wagsby to go on laughing — at — at a fellah as he does ? " 

u Well, mv Lord," she said, " I think so too ; and I won- 



416 CHOICE READINGS. 

der yon stand it. You — you have your remedy, 3-011 
know." 

''What remedy?" I said. "You — you don't mean to 
sa} T I ought to thvvash him, Miss Charlotte?" 

Here she — she somehow began to laugh, but in such a 
peculiar way that I — I couldn't think what she meant. 

"A vewy good idea," I said. " I've a vewy good mind to 
twy it. I had on the gloves once with a lay figure in a paint- 
er's studio, — and gave it an awful licking. It's twue, it — it 
didn't hit back, you know ; I — I did all — all the hitting 
then. And pwaps — pwaps Wagsby would hit back. But, 
if — if he did any thing so ungentlemanlike as that, I could 
always — alwa}'S — " 

" Always what, my Lord? " said Lotty, who was going on 
laughing in a most hysterical manner. 

"Why, I could always say it was a mithtake, and — and 
it shouldn't happen again, you know." 

" Admirable policy, upon my word," she thaid, and began 
tittering again. But what the dooth amused her so i" never 
could make out. Just then we heard a sort of rustling in 
the leaves behind, and I confess I felt wather nervouth. 

" It's only a bird," Lotty said ; and then we began talking 
of that little wobbin-wedbreast, and what a wonderful thing 
Nature is, — and how doosid pwetty it was to see her laws 
obeyed. And I said, "OMiss Chaffingham ! " I said, "If 
I was a wobbin — " 

"Yes, Dundreary," she anthered, — vewy soft and sweet. 
And I thought to mythelf , — Now's the time to ask her, — 
now's the time to — I — I was beginning to wuminate again, 
but she bwought me to my thenses by saying, — 

" Yes?" inter woggativety. 

" If I was a wobbin, Lott}-, — and — and you were a wob- 
bin — "I exclaimed, — with a full voice of emothun. 

"Well, my Lord?" 

"Wouldn't it be — jolly to have thpeckled eggs evewy 
morning for bweakfast?" 

That wasn't quite what I was going to say ; but just then 



THE SWELL. 417 

there was another rustling behind the summer-house, and in 
wushed that bwute, Wagsby. 

; ' What's the wow, Dundreary?" said he, grinning in a 
dweadfully idiotic sort of way. v ' Come, old fellah," (I — I 
hate a man who calls me old fellah, — it's so bcathly famil- 
iar) . And then he said he had come on purpose to fetch us 
back, (confound him !) as they had just awanged to start on 
one of those cold-meat excursions, — no, that's not the 
word, I know, — but it has something to do with cold meat, 
— pic — pickles, is it? — no, pickwick? pic — I have it, — 
the}" wanted us to go picklicking, — I mean picknicking with 
them. 

Here w r as a disappointment. Just as I thought to have a 
nice little flirtathun with Lotty — to be interwupted in this 
manner ! Was ever any thing so pwovoking ? And all for a 
picnic, — a thort of early dinner without chairs or tables, 
and a lot of flies in the muthtard ! I was in such a wage ! 

Of course I didn't get another chance to say all I wanted. 
I had lost nrr opportunity, and, I fear, made an ath of my- 
thelf. 

THE SWELL. 

George W. Kyle. 

I say ! I wonder wiry fellahs ever wide in horse-cars ? 
I've been twying all day to think why fellahs ever do it, 
weally ! I know some fellahs that are in business, down 
town, you know, — C. B. Jones, cotton-dealer; Smith 
Brothers, woollen goods ; Bwown & Company, stock-bwokers 
and that sort of thing, you know, — who say they do it every 
day. If I was to do it every day, my funeral would come 
off in about a week. Ton my soul, it would. I wode in a 
horse-car one day. Did it for a lark. Made a bet I would 
wide in a horse-car, 'pon my soul, I did. So I went out on 
the pavement before the club-house and called one. I said, 
ki Horse-car! horse-car!" but not one of 'em stopped, 
weally ! Then I saw that fellahs wun after them, — played 



418 CHOICE READINGS. 

tag with them, you know, as the dweadful little girls do 
when school is coming out. And sometimes the} T caught the 
cars, — ah — and sometimes they did not. So I wun after 
one, I did weally, and 1 caught it. I was out of breath, 
3'ou know, and a fellah on the platform — a conductor fellah 
— poked me in the back and said, " Come ! move up ! make 
room for this lady ! " Ah — by Jove he did, you know ! I 
looked for the lady so, but I could see no lady, and I said 
so. There was a female person behind me, with large mar- 
ket basket, cwowded with, ah, — vegetables and such dwead- 
ful stuff, and another person with a bundle, and another with 
a baby, you know. The person with the basket prodded me 
in the back with it, and I said to the conductor fellah, said 
I, "Where shall I sit down? I — ah — I don't see any 
seat, you know." " The seats seem to be occupied by per- 
sons, conductor," said I. " Where shall I sit?" 

He was wude, very wude, indeed, and he said, "You can 
sit on 3 T our thumb if you have a mind to." And when I 
wemonstrated with him upon the impwopwiet}- of telling a 
gentleman to sit on his thumb, he told me to go to thunder. 
" Go to thunder ! " he did, indeed. After a while one of the 
persons got out, and I sat down ; it was vewy disagweeable ! 
Opposite me, there were several persons belonging to the 
labowing classes, with what I pwesume to be lime on their 
boots ; and tin kettles which they carried for some myste- 
rious purpose in their hands. There was a person with a 
large basket, and a coloured person. Next to me there sat a 
fellah that had been eating onions ! 'Twas vewy offensive ! 
I couldn't stand it ! No fellah could, you know. I had 
heard that if any one in a car was annoyed by a fellah-pas- 
senger he _ should weport it to the conductor. So I said, 
"Conductor ! put this person out of the car! he annoys me 
vewy much. He has been eating onions." But the con- 
ductor fellah only laughed. He did, indeed ! And the fel- 
lah that had been eating onions said, " Hang yer impidence, 
what do ye mean by that?" " It's extwemely disagweeable, 
you know, to sit near one who has been eating onions," said 



THE SWELL. 419 

I. "I think you ought to resign, get out, you know." 
And then, though I'm sure I spoke in the most wespectful 
manner, he put his fist under my nose and wemarked, 
"You'll eat that, hang you, in a minute!" he did, indeed. 
And a fellah opposite said, " Put a head on him, Jim ! " I 
suppose from his tone that it was some colloquial expwession 
of the lower orders, referring to a personal attack. It was 
vewy disagweeable, indeed. I don't see why any fellah ever 
wides in the horse-cars. But I didn't want a wow, you 
know. A fellah is apt to get a black eye, and a black eye 
spoils one's appeawance, don't you think? So I said, " Beg 
pardon, I'm sure." The fellah said, "O, hang you ! " he 
did, indeed. He was a vew}' ill-bred person. And all tin* 
time the car kept stopping, and more persons of the lower 
orders kept getting on. A vewy dweadful woman with a 
vewy dweadful baby stood right before me, intercepting nry 
view of the street ; and the bab} T had an orange in one hand 
and some candy in the other. And I was wondering why 
persons of the lower classes were allowed to have such dirty 
babies, and why Bergh or some one didn't interfere, you 
know, when, before I knew what she was doing, that dwead- 
ful woman sat that dweadful baby wight down on my lap ! 
She did, indeed. And it took hold of my shirt bosom with 
one of its sticky hands, and took my eye-glass away with the 
other, and, upon my honour, I'm quite lost without my eye- 
glass. "You'll have to kape him till I find me money," 
said the woman. "Weally!" said I, "I'm not a nursery- 
maid, ma'am." Then the people about me laughed, they 
did, indeed. I could not endure it. I jumped up and 
dwopped the baby in the straw. " Stop the car, conductor," 
said I, " stop the car." What do suppose he said? " Hurry 
up now, be lively, be lively, don't keep me waiting all day ! " 
And I was about to wemonstrate with him upon the impwo- 
pwiety of speaking so to a gentleman, when he pushed me 
off the car. That was the only time I ever wode in a horse- 
car. I wonder wiry fellahs ever do wide in horse-cars ? I 
should think they would pwefer cabs, you know. 



420 CHOICE READINGS. 

FRENCH. 

THE FRENCHMAN AND THE PLEA-POWDER, 

A Frenchman once — so runs a certain ditty — 

Had cross'd the Straits to famous London city, 

To get a living by the arts of France, 

And teach his neighbour, rough John Bull, to dance. 

But, lacking pupils, vain was all his skill ; 

His fortunes sank from low to lower still ; 

Until, at last, — pathetic to relate, — 

Poor Monsieur landed at starvation's gate. 

Standing, one day, beside a cook-shop door, 

And, gazing in, with aggravation sore, 

He mused within himself what he should do 

To fill his empty maw, and pocket too. 

By nature shrewd, he soon contrived a plan, 

And thus to execute it straight began : 

A piece of common brick he quickly found, 

And with a harder stone to powder ground, 

Then wrapp'd the dust in many a dainty piece 

Of paper, labell'd "■ Poison for de Fleas," 

And sallied forth, his roguish trick to try, 

To show his treasures, and to see who'd buy. 

From street to street he cried, with lusty yell, 

" Here's grand and sovereign flea poudare to sell ! " 

And fickle Fortune seem'd to smile at last, 

For soon a woman hailed him as he pass'd, 

Struck a quick bargain with him for the lot, 

And made him five crowns richer on the spot. 

Our wight, encouraged by this ready sale, 

Went into business on a larger scale ; 

And soon, throughout all London, scatter'd he 

The " only genuine poudare for de flea." 

Engaged, one morning, in his new vocation 

Of mingled boasting and dissimulation, 

Ho thought he heard himself in anger calPd ; 



A FRENCHMAN ON MACBETH. 421 

And, sure enough, the self-same woman bawl'd, — 

In not a mild or very tender mood. — 

From the same window where before she stood. 

" Hey, there," said she, " You Monsher Powder-man ! 

Escape my clutches now, sir, if you can ; 

I'll let you dirt}', thieving Frenchmen know 

That decent people won't be cheated so." 

Then spoke Monsieur, and heaved a saintly sigh, 

With humble attitude and tearful e3~e ; — 

"Ah, Madame ! s'il vous plait, attendez vous, — 

I vill dis leetle ting explain to you : 

My poudare gran ! magnifique ! why abuse him ? 

Aha ! I show you Jwiv to use him : 

First, you must wait until you catch deflea; 

Den, tickle he on de petite rib, you see ; 

And, when he laugh, — aha ! he ope his troat ; 

Den poke de poudare down ! — Begar ! he choke. 



>>©<OC 



A FRENCHMAN ON MACBETH. 

An enthusiastic French student of Shakespeare thus com- 
ments on the tragedy of Macbeth : 

"Ah! your Mossieu' Shak-es-pier ! He is gr-aa-nd — 
mysterieuse — so-blime ! You 'ave reads ze Macabess? — 
ze scene of ze Mossieu' Macabess vis ze Vitch, — eh? Su- 
perb sooblimitee ! Wen he say to ze Vitch, ' Ar-r-roynt ze, 
Vitch ! ' she go away : but what she say when she go awa}~ ? 
She say she will do s'omesing dat aves got no naame ! ' Ah, 
ha ! ' she say, ' I go, like ze r-r-aa-t vizout ze tail, but I'll do ! 
I'll do! I'll do ! ' Wa't she do? Ah, ha ! — voila le graand 
mysterieuse Mossieu' Shak-es-pier ! She not say what she 
do!" 

This ivas "grand." to be sure : but the prowess of Mac- 
beth, in his " bout" with Macduff, awakens all the mercurial 
Frenchman's martial ardour : 

" Mossieu' Macabess, he see him come, clos' by; he say 



422 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

(proud empressement) , ' Come 0-0-71, Mossieu' Macduffs, and 
d — d be he who first say Enoffs!' Zen zey fi-i-ght — 
moche. Ah, ha ! — voila ! Mossieu' Macabess, vis his 
br-r-ight r-r-apier ' pink ' him, vat you call, in his body. 
He 'ave gots mal d'estomac : he say, vis grand simplicity, 
' Enoffs ! ' What for he say ' Enoffs ? ' 'Cause he got enoffs 
— plaainty ; and he empire, r-r-ight away, 'mediately, pretty 
quick ! Ah, mes amis, Mossieu' Shak-es-pier is rising man 
in La Belle France ! " 

MONSIEUE TONSCW. 

There lived, as Fame reports, in days of yore, 
At least some fifty years ago or more, 

A pleasant wight in town, yclept Tom King, — 
A fellow that was clever at a joke, 
Expert in all the arts to tease and smoke ; 

In short, for strokes of humour quite the thing. 

To many a jovial club this King was known, 
With whom his active wit unrivall'd shone : 

Choice spirit, grave free-mason, buck and blood, 
Would crowd, his stories and bon-mots to hear ; 
And none a disappointment e'er could fear, 

His humour flow'd in such a copious flood. 

To him a frolic was a high delight ; 

A frolic he w r ould hunt for, day and night, 

Careless how prudence on the sport might frown : 
If e'er a pleasant mischief sprang to view, 
At once o'er hedge and ditch away he flew, 

Nor left the game till he had run it down. 

One night, our hero, rambling with a friend, 

Near famed St. Giles's chanced his course to bend, 

Just by that spot, the Seven Dials hight. 
'Twas silence all around, and clear the coast, 



MONSIEUR TOXSOX. 423 

The watch, as usual, dozing on his post, 

And scarce a lamp display' d a twinkling light. 

Around this place there lived the numerous clans 
Of honest, plodding, foreign artisans, 

Known at that time by name of refugees. 
The rod of persecution from their home 
Compell'd the inoffensive race to roam. 

And here they lighted, like a swarm of bees. 

Well ! our two friends were sauntering through the street, 
In hopes some food for humour soon to meet, 

When, in a window near, a light they view ; 
And, though a dim and melancholy ray, 
It seem'd the prologue to some merry play, 

So towards the gloomy dome our hero drew. 

Straight at the door he gave a thundering knock, 
(The time we may suppose near two o'clock.) 

" I'll ask." says King, c - if Thompson lodges here." 
"Thompson," cries t'other, "who the devil's he?" 
" I know not," King replies, " but want to see 

What kind of animal will now appear." 

After some time a little Frenchman came ; 

One hand display'd a rushlight's trembling flame, 

The other held a thing they call'd calotte; 
An old striped woollen nightcap graced his head, 
A tatter'd waistcoat o'er one shoulder spread ; 

Scarce half awake, he heaved a yawning note. 

Though thus untimely roused he courteous smiled, 
And soon address' d our wag in accents mild, 

Bending his head politely to his knee, — 
" Pray, sare, vat vant you. dat you come so late? 
I beg your pardon, sare, to make you vait : 

Prav tell me, sare, vat vour commands vid me?" 



424 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Sir," replied King, " I merely thought to know, 
As by your house I chanced to-night to go, 

(But, really, I disturb'd }'Our sleep, I fear,) 
I say, I thought that you perhaps could tell, 
Among the folks who in this quarter dwell, 

If there's a Mr. Thompson lodges here ? " 

The shivering Frenchman, though not pleased to find 
The business of this unimportant kind, 

Too simple to suspect 'twas meant in jeer, 
Shrugg'd out a sigh that thus his rest was broke, 
Then, with unalter'd courtesy, he spoke ; 

" No, sare, no Monsieur Tonson lodges here." 

Our wag begg'd pardon, and toward home he sped, 
While the poor Frenchman crawl' d again to bed. 

But King resolved not thus to drop the jest ; 
So, the next night, with more of whim than grace, 
Again he made a visit to the place, 

To break once more the poor old Frenchman's rest. 

He knock'cl, — but waited longer than before ; 
No footstep seem'd approaching to the door ; 

Our Frenchman lay in such a sleep profound. 
King with the knocker thunder'd then again, 
Firm on his post determined to remain ; 

And oft, indeed, he made the door resound. 

At last King hears him o'er the passage creep, 
Wondering what fiend again disturb'd his sleep : 

The wag salutes him with a civil leer ; 
Thus drawling out to heighten the surprise, 
While the poor Frenchman rubbed his heavy eyes, 

" Is there — a Mr. Thompson — lodges here ? " 

The Frenchman falter'd, with a kind of fright, — 
" Vy, sare, I'm sure I told you, sare, last night, 



MONSIEUR TONSON. 425 

(And here he labour'd. with a sigh sincere,) 
No Monsieur Tonson in the varld I know, 
No Monsieur Tonson here, — ■ I told you so ; 

Indeed, sare, dare no Monsieur Tonson here ! " 



Some more excuses tender'd, off King goes, 
And the old Frenchman sought once more repose. 

The rogue next night pursued his old career. 
'Twas long indeed before the man came nigh. 
And then he utter' d in a piteous cry. 

ki Sare, 'pon my soul, no Monsieur Tonson here 



Our sportive wight his usual visit paid. 

And the next night came forth a prattling maid. 

TThose tongue, indeed, than any Jack went faster; 
Anxious, she strove his errand to inquire. 
He said 'twas vain her pretty tongue to tire. 

He should not stir till he had seen her master. 

The damsel then began, in doleful state. 
The Frenchman's broken slumbers to relate. 

And begg'd he'd call at proper time of day. 
King told her she must fetch her master down, 
A chaise was ready, he was leaving town. 

But first had much of deep concern to say. 

Thus urged, she went the snoring man to call. 
And long, indeed, was she obliged to bawl. 

Ere she could rouse the torpid lump of clay. 
At last he wakes ; he rises : and he swears : 
But scarcely had he totter'd down the stairs, 

AVhen King attack'd him in his usual way. 

The Frenchman now perceived 'twas all in vain 
To his tormentor mildly to complain. 

And straight in rage began his crest to rear : 
" Sare. vat the devil make you treat me so? 



426 CHOICE READINGS. 

Sare, I inform you, sare, three nights ago, 

Got tarn — I swear, no Monsieur Tonson here ! " 

True as the night, King went, and heard a strife 
Between the harass'd Frenchman and his wife, 

Which would descend to chase the fiend away. 
At length, to join their forces they agree, 
And straight impetuously they turn the key, 

Prepared with mutual fury for the fray. 

Our hero, with the firmness of a rock, 
Collected to receive the mighty shock, 

Uttering the old inquiry, calmly stood. 
The name of Thompson raised the storm so high, 
He deem'd it then the safest plan to fly, 

With " Well, I'll call when you're in gentler mood." 

In short, our hero, with the same intent, 

Full many a night to plague the Frenchman went, 

So fond of mischief was the wicked wit : 
They throw out water ; for the watch they call ; 
But King, expecting, still escapes from all. 

Monsieur at last was forced his house to quit. 

It happen'd that our wag, about this time, 

On some fair prospect sought the Eastern clime; 

Six lingering years were there his tedious lot. 
At length, content, amid his ripening store, 
He treads again on Britain's happy shore, 

And his long absence is at once forgot. 

To London, with impatient hope, he flies, 
And the same night, as former freaks arise, 

He fain must stroll, the well-known haunt to trace. 
" Ah ! here's the scene of frequent mirth," he said ; 
" My poor old Frenchman, I suppose, is dead. 

Egad, I'll knock, and see who holds the place." 



LEEDLE YAWCOB STRAUSS. 427 



With rapid strokes lie makes the mansion roar, 
And while he eager eyes the opening door, 

Lo ! who obeys the knocker's rattling peal ? 
Why, e'en our little Frenchman, strange to say 
He took his old abode that very day, — 

Capricious turn of sportive Fortune's wheel ! 



Without one thought of the relentless foe, 
Who, fiend-like, haunted him so long ago, 

Just in his former trim he now appears : 
The waistcoat and the nightcap seem'd the same ; 
With rushlight, as before, he creeping came, 

And King's detested voice astonish'd hears. 

As if some hideous spectre struck his sight, 
His senses seem'd bewilder'd with affright, 

His face, indeed, bespoke a heart full sore ; 
Then, starting, he exclaim'd, in rueful strain, 
" Beoar ! here's Monsieur Tonson come aoain ! " 

Away he ran, and ne'er was heard of more. 

OO^W 

GERMAN. 

LEEDLE YAWCOB STKAUSS. 

Charles F. Adams. 

I hap von funny leeclle poy 

Vot gomes schust to my knee, — 

Der queerest schap, der createst rogue 

As efer you dit see. 

He runs, unci schumps, und schmashes dings 

In all barts off der house. 

But vot off dot? He vas mine son, 

Mine leedle Yawcob Strauss. 

He get der measles und der mumbs, 
Und ever} r dmg dot's oudt ; 



428 CHOICE READINGS. 

He sbills mine glass off lager bier, 

Poots sclmuff indo mine kraut ; 

He fills mine pipe mit Limburg cheese, — 

Dot vas der roughest chouse ; 

I'd dake dot vrom no oder poy 

But leedle Yawcob Strauss. 

He dakes cler milk-ban for a dhrum, 

Und cuts mine cane in dwo 

To make der schticks to beat it mit, — 

Mine cracious, dot vas drue ! 

I dinks mine hed vas schplit abart, 

He kicks oup sooch a touse ; 

But nefer mind, der poys vas few 

Like dot young Yawcob Strauss. 

He asks me questions sooch as dese : 

Who baints mine nose so red? 

Who vos it cuts dot schmooclth blace oudt 

From der hair ubon mine hed ? 

Und vhere der plaze goes vrom der lamp 

Vene'er der glim I douse ? 

How gan I all dese dings eggsblain 

To dot sehmall Yawcob Strauss ? 

I somedimes dink I schall go vild 

Mit sooch a graz}^ poy, 

Und vish vonce more I gould haf rest 

Und beaceful dimes enshoy : 

But ven he vas ashleep in ped, 

So quiet as a mouse, 

I prays der Lord, u Dake airydings, 

But leaf dot Yawcob Strauss." 



sockery" setting a hen. 429 



"SOCKEKY" SETTING A HEN. 

Meester Verris : I see dot mosd efferpoty wrides some- 
thing for de shicken pabers nowtays, and I tought praps 
meppe I can do dot, too ; so I wride all apout vot dook blace 
mit me lasht Summer : you know — ocler, uf you dond know, 
den I dells you — dot Katrina (dot is mine vrow) unci me, 
ve keep some shickens for a long clime ago, unci von tay she 
sait to me, " Sockery," (dot is mein name,) u vy clone! you 
put some uf cle aigs under clot olt plue hen shickens. I dinks 
she vants to sate." " Veil," I sait, Li meppe, I guess I vill." 
So I bicked oud some ou cle best aigs, unci dook urn oucl do de 
parn fere de olt hen make her neshtin cle side of cle haymow, 
poud fife six veet up. Now you see I nefer was ferry pig up 
and clown, but I vas pooty pig all de va} T around in cle mittle, 
so I koocln't reach up till I vent unci got a parrel do stant on. 
Yell, I klimet me on cle parrel, unci ven my hed rise up py de 
nesht, de olt hen she gif me such a bick dot my nose runs all 
over my face mit plood, und ven I todge pack clot plastecl 
olt parrel het preak. unci I vent town kershlam. 

Py chollv, I didn't tink I koocl go insite a parrel pefore, 
but dere I vas, unci I fit so dite clot I koodn't git me oud 
efferway, — my fest vas bushed vay up unter my arm-holes. 
Ven I fount I vos elite shtuck, I holler, " Katrina ! Katrina ! " 
Unci ven she koom and see me shtuck in de parrel up to my 
arm-holes, mit my face all ploocl und aigs, by ckolry, she 
chust kit town on de hay und laft, und laft till I got so mat 
I sait, " Vot you lay clere unci laf like a olt vool, eh? Vy 
cloud you koom bull me oud ? " Und she set up und sait, 
" O, vipe off your chin, und bull your fest clown" ; den she 
lait back unci laft like she vood shplit herself more as ever. 

Mat as I vas, I tought to myself, Katrina, she sbeak Eng- 
lish pooty good ; but I only sait, mit my greatest dignitude, 
"Katrina, vill you bull me oucl dis parrel?" Unci she see 
dot I look pooty red, so she sait, " Of course I vill, Sockery." 
Den she lait me unci cle parrel town on our site, und I dook 



430 CHOICE READINGS. 

holt de door sill, and Katrina she bull on cle parrel, but de 
first bull she mate I yellet, " Donner und blitzen, shtop clat, 
py golly ; clere is nails in de parrel!" You see de nails 
bent town ven I vent in, but ven I koom oucl de}' schticks in 
me all de vay rount. Veil, to make a short shtory long, I 
told Katrina to go und dell naypor Hansman to pring a saw 
und saw me dis parrel off. Veil, he koom und he like to 
sphlit himself mit laf, too, but he roll me ofer und saw de 
parrel all de vay around off, und I git up mit half a parrel 
around nry vaist. Den Katrina she say, " Sockery, vait a 
leetle till I get a battern of dot new oferskirt you haf on." 
But I didn't sait a vort ; I shust got a nife oud, und vittle de 
hoops off, und shling dot confounted olt parrel in de voot 
pile. 

Pimeby, ven I koom in de house, Katrina she said, so soft 
like, " Sockery, dond you go in to put some aigs under dot 
olt plue hen?" den I sait, in my deepest voice, "Katrina, 
uff you effer say clot to me again I'll git a pill from you, so 
help me chimin}' cracious ! " Und I dell you she didn't say 
dot any more. Veil, ven I step on a parrel now, I dond 
step on it, I git a pox. 

o0 ^CX, 

IRISH. 
00M0K. 

' ' To the memory of Patrick Connor : this simple stone was erected by 
his fellow-workmen." 

Those words you may read any day upon a white slab in 
a cemetery not many miles from New York ; but you might 
read them a hundred times without ouessino- at the little 
tragedy they indicate, without knowing the humble romance 
which ended with the placing of that stone above the dust of 
one poor, humble man. 

In his shabby frieze jacket and mud-laden brogans, he was 
scarcely an attractive object as he walked into Mr. Bawne's 



CONNOR. 431 

great tin and hardware shop one day, and presented himself 
at the counter with an 

" I've been tould ye advertized for hands, yer Honour." 

"Full}' supplied, my man," said Mr. Bawne, not lifting 
his head from his account-book. 

" I'd work faithfully, sir, and take low wages, till I could 
do better, and I'd learn, — I would that." 

It was an Irish brogue, and Mr. Bawne always declared 
that he never would employ an incompetent hand. Yet the 
tone attracted him. He turned briskly, and, with his pen 
behind his ear, addressed the man, who was only one of fifty 
who had answered his advertisement for four workmen that 
morning. "What makes you expect to learn faster than 
other folks? are 3'ou any smarter? " 

"I'll not say that," said the man; "but I'd be wishing 
to ; and that would make it aisier." 

' ' Are you used to the work ? " 

" I've done a bit of it." 

"Much?" 

" No, yer Honour, I'll tell no lie ; Tim O'Toole hadn't the 
like of this place ; but I know a bit about tins." 

"You are too old for an apprentice, and you'd be in the 
way, I calculate," said Mr. Bawne, looking at the brawny 
arms and bright e}'es that promised strength and intelligence. 
"[Besides, I know your country-men, — lazy, good-for-nothing 
fellows who never do their best. No, I've been taken in by 
Irish hands before, and I won't have another." 

" The Virgin will have to be after bringing them over to 
me in her two arms, thin," said the man, despairingly, " for 
I've tramped all the day for the last fortnight, and niver a 
job can I get, and that's the last penny I have, yer Honour, 
and it's but a half one." 

As he spoke, he spread his palm open, with an English 
half-penny in it. 

" Bring whom over?" asked Mr. Bawne, arrested by the 
odd speech, as he turned upon his heel and turned back 



432 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Jist Nora and Jamesy." 

"Who are they?" 

"The wan's me wife, the other me child," said the man. 
" O masther, just thry me. How'll I bring 'em over to me, 
if no one will give me a job ? I want to be aiming, and the 
whole big city seems against it, and me with arms like 
them." 

He bared his arms to the shoulder, as he spoke, and Mr. 
Bawne looked at them, and then at his face. 

"I'll hire you for a week," he said; "and now, as it's 
noon, go down to the kitchen, and tell the girl to get you 
some dinner, — a hungry man can't work." 

With an Irish blessing, the new hand obeyed, while Mr. 
Bawne, untying his apron, went up stairs to his own meal. 
Suspicious as he was of the new hand's integrity and ability, 
he was agreeably disappointed. Connor worked hard, and 
actually learned fast. At the end of the week he was en- 
gaged permanently, and soon was the best workman in the 
shop. 

He was a great talker, but not fond of drink or wasting 
money. As his wages grew, he hoarded every penny, and 
wore the same shabby clothes in which he had made his first 
appearance. 

" Beer costs money," he said one day, " and ivery cent I 
spind puts off the bringing Nora and Jamesy over ; and as 
for clothes, them I have must do me. Better no coat to nry 
back than no wife and boy by T my fireside ; and, anyhow, it's 
slow work saving." 

He kept his way, a martyr to his one great wish, living on 
little, working at night on an extra job that he could earn a 
few shillings by, running errauds in his noon-tide hours of 
rest, and talking to am- one who would listen to him of his 
one great hope, and of Nora and of little Jamesy. 

At first the men who prided themselves on being all Amer- 
icans, and on turning out the best work in the city, made a 
sort of butt of Connor, whose "wild Irish" ways and ver- 
dancy were indeed often laughable. But he won their hearts 



conxor. 433 

at last, and when one da}*, mounting a work-bench, he shook 
his little bundle, wrapped in a red kerchief, before their eyes, 
and shouted, "Look, boys; I've got the whole at last! I'm 
goins; to brino- Xora and Jamesv over at last ! Whorooo ! ! 
I've got it ! ! ! " all felt sympathy in his joy, and each 
grasped his great hand in cordial congratulations, and one 
proposed to treat all round, and drink a good voyage to 
Xora. 

They parted in a merry mood, most of the men going 
to comfortable homes. But poor Connor's resting-place was 
a poor lodging-house, where he shared a crazy garret with 
four other men ; and in the joy of his heart the poor fallow 
exhibited his handkerchief, with his hard-earned savings tied 
up in a wad in the middle, before he put it under his pillow 
and fell asleep. 

When he awakened in the morning, he found his treasure 
gone ; some villain, more contemptible than most bad men, 
had robbed him. 

At first Connor could not even believe it lost. He searched 
every corner of the room, shook the quilt and blankets, and 
begged those about him " to quit joking, and give it back." 
But at last he realized the truth : 

"Is any man that bad that it's thaved from me?" he 
asked, in a breathless way. " Boys, is any man that bad? " 
And some one answered, "No doubt of it, Connor; it's 
sthole." 

Then Connor put his head down on his hands and lifted 
up his voice and wept. It was one of those sights which 
men never forget. It seemed more than he could bear, to 
have Xora and his child " put," as he expressed it, " months 
away from him again." 

But when he went to work that day it seemed to all who 
saw him that he had picked up a new determination. His 
hands were never idle. His face seemed to say, "I'll have 
X"ora with me yet." 

At noon he scratched out a letter, blotted and very 
strangely scrawled, telling Nora what had happened ; and 



434 CHOICE READINGS. 

those who observed him noticed that he had no meat with 
his dinner. Indeed, from that moment he lived on bread, 
potatoes, and cold water, and worked as few men ever worked 
before. — It grew to be the talk of the shop ; and, now that 
sympathy was excited, every one wanted to help Connor. 
Jobs were thrown in his way, kind words and friendly wishes 
helped him mightily ; but no power could make him share 
the food or drink of any other workman. It seemed a sort 
of charity to him. 

Still he was helped along. A present from Mr. Bawne, at 
pay-day, set Nora, as he said, " a week nearer," and this 
and 4hat and the other added to the little hoard. It grew 
faster than the first, and Connor's burden was not so heavy. 

At last, before he hoped it, he was once more able to say, 
" I'm going to bring them over," and to show his handker- 
chief, in which, as before, he tied up his earnings ; this time, 
however, only to his friends. Cautious among strangers, he 
hid the treasure, and kept his vest buttoned over it night 
and day until the tickets were bought and sent. Then every 
man, woman, and child, capable of hearing or understand- 
ing, knew that Nora and her baby were coming. 

The days flew by and brought at last a letter from his 
wife. She would start as he desired, and she was well and 
so was the bo}' ; and might the Lord bring them safely to 
each other's arms and bless them who had been so kind to 
him ! That was the substance of the epistle which Connor 
proudly assured his fellow-workmen Nora wrote herself. 
She had lived at service as a girl, with a certain goad old 
lady, who had given her the items of an education, which 
Connor told upon his fingers. " The radin', that's one, and 
the writin', that's three, and, moreover, she knows all that a 
woman can." Then he looked up with tears in his eyes, and 
asked, tu Do you wondher the time seems long between me 
an' her, boys?" 

So it was. Nora at the dawn of day, Nora at noon, Nora 
at night, until the news came that the Storm}' Petrel had 



CONNOR. 435 

come to port, and Connor, breathless and pale with excite- 
ment, flung his cap in the air and shouted. 

It happened on a holiday afternoon, and half-a-dozen men 
were ready to go with Connor, to the steamer, and give his 
wife a greeting. Her little home was ready ; Mr. Bawne's 
own servant had put it in order, and Connor took one peep 
at it before he started. 

" She hadn't the like of that in the old counthry," he said, 
k ; but she'll know how to keep them tidy." 

Then he led the way towards the dock where the steamer 
lay, and at a pace that made it hard for the rest to follow 
him. The spot was reached at last ; a crowd of vehicles 
blockaded the street ; a troop of emigrants came thronging 
up ; fine cabin passengers were stepping into cabs, and 
drivers, porters, and all manner of employees were yelling 
and shouting in the usual manner. Nora would wait on 
board for her husband, he knew that. 

The little group made their way into the vessel at last, and 
there, amid those who sat watching for coming friends, Con- 
nor searched for the two so dear to him ; patiently at first, 
eagerly but patiently, but by-and-by growing anxious and 
excited. 

tk She would never go alone," he said, "she'd be lost 
entirely ; I bade her wait, but I don't see her, bo} T s ; I think 
she's not in it." 

" Why don't you see the captain ? " asked one, and Connor 
jumped at the suggestion. In a few minutes he stood before 
a portly, rubicund man, who nodded to him kindly. 

wl I am looking for my wife, yer Honour," said Connor, 
" and I can't find her." 

" Perhaps she's gone ashore," said the captain. 

k - 1 bade her wait," said Connor. 

" Women don't always do as the} T are bid, you know," 
said the captain. 

k - Nora would," said Connor; "but maybe she was left 
behind. Maybe she didn't come. I somehow think she 
didn't." 



436 CHOICE READINGS. 

At the name of Nora the captain started. In a moment 
he asked : 

" What is your name ? " 

" Pat Connor," said the man. 

" And your wife's name was Nora?" 

"That's her name, and the boy with her is Jamesy, yer 
Honour," said Connor. 

The captain looked at Connor's friends ; they looked at the 
captain. Then he said hnskilj T , "Sit down, my man ! I've 
got something to tell you." 

" She's left behind," said Connor. 

" She sailed with us," said the captain. 

" Where is she? " asked Connor. 

The captain made no answer. 

" My man," he said, " we all have our trials; God sends 
them. Yes, Nora started with us." 

Connor said nothing. He was looking at the captain now, 
white to his lips. 

" It's been a sickly season," said the captain ; "we have 
had illness on board. — the cholera. You know that." 

"I didn't. I can't read; they kept it from me," said 
Connor. 

"We didn't want to frighten him," said one in a half 
whisper. 

" You know how long we lay at quarantine? " 

"The ship I came in did that," said Connor. " Did ye 
say Nora went ashore? Ought I to be looking for her, 
captain? " 

"Many died, many children," went on the captain. 
" When we were halfway here your boy was taken sick." 

" Jamesy," gasped Connor. 

"His mother watched him night and day," said the cap- 
tain, " and we did all we could, but at last he died; only 
one of man}'. There were five buried that day. But it 
broke my heart to see the mother looking out upon the 
water. ' It's his father I think of,' said she ; k he's longing 
to see poor Jamesy.' " 



MISS MALONY ON THE CHINESE QUESTION. 437 

Connor groaned. 

••Keep up, if von can, my man," said the captain. "I 
wish any one else had it to tell rather than I. That night 
Nora was taken ill also; very suddenly, she grew worse fast. 
In the morning she called me to her. ' Tell Connor I died 
thinking of him,' she said, ; and tell him to meet me.' 
And my man, God help you, she never said any thing more, 
— and in an hour she was gone." 

Connor had risen. He stood up, trying to steady himself, 
looking at the captain with his eyes as dry as two stones. 
Then he turned to his friends : 

li I've got my death, boys," he said, and then dropped to 
the deck like a log. 

They raised him and bore him away. In an hour he was 
at home on the little bed which had been made ready for 
Nora, weary with her long voyage. There, at last, he opened 
his eyes. Old Mr. Bawne bent over him : he had been sum- 
moned by the news, and the room was full of Connor's fellow- 
workmen. 

" Better, Connor? " asked the old man. 

" A dale," said Connor. ; * It's aisy now ; I'll be with her 
soon. And look ye, masther, I've learnt one thing. — God 
is good ; He wouldn't let me bring Nora over to me, but He's 
takin' me over to her and Jamesy over the river : don't you 
see it, and her standin' on the other side to welcome me? " 

And with these words Connor stretched out his arms. 
Perhaps he did see Nora, — Heaven only knows, — and so 
died. 

MISS MALONY ON THE CHINESE QUESTION. 

Mrs. Mary Mapes Dodge. 

Och ! don't be talkin'. Is it hoicld oitye say? An' didn't 
I howld on till the heart of me was clane broke entirely, an 
me wastin' that thin you could clutch me wid yer two hands ? 
To think o' me toilin' like a nager. for the six year I've been 
in Amerikv. — bad luck to the day I iver left the owld coun- 



438 CHOICE READINGS. 

tiny ! to be bate by the likes o' them ! (faix an' I'll sit down 
when I'm ready, so I will, Ann Ryan, an' ye'd better be list- 
nin' than drawin' your remarks,) an' is it meself, with five 
good characters from respectable places, would be herdin' 
wid the haythens? The saints forgive me, but I'd be buried 
alive sooner'n put up wid it a day longer. Sure an' I was 
the granehorn not to be lavin' at onct when the missus kim 
into me kitchen wid her perlaver about the new waiter-man 
which was brought out from Calif orny. '■' He'll be here the 
night," says she, " an' Kitty, it's meself looks to 3*011 to be 
kind and patient wid him for he's a furriuer," says she, a 
kind o' lookin' off. " Sure an' it's little I'll hinder nor inter- 
fare wid him nor any other, mum," says I, a kind o' stiff, 
for I minded me how these French waiters, wid their paper 
collars an' brass rings on their fingers, isn't compan} T for no 
gurril brought up dacint an' honest. Och ! sorra a bit I 
knew what was comin' till the missus walked into me kitchen 
smilin', an' sa} T s, kind o' sheared, ''Here's Fing Wing, 
Kitty, an' you'll have too much sinse to mind his bein' a 
little strange." 

Wid that she shoots the doore, an' I, misthrusting if I was 
tidied up sufficient for me fine buy wid his paper collar, 
looks up an' — kowly fathers ! may I niver brathe another 
breath, but there stud a rale hay then Chineser a-grinnin' 
like he'd just come off a tay-box. If you'll belave me, the 
crayture was that yallar it 'ud sicken you to see him ; an' 
sorra a stitch was on him, but a black night-gown over his 
trowsers, an' the front of his head shaved claner nor a cop- 
per biler, an' a black tail a-hangin' down from behind, wid 
his two feet stook into the haythenestest shoes you ever set 
e}-es on. Och ! but I was up stairs before you could turn 
about, a-givin' the missus warnin', an' only stopt wid her by 
her raisin' me wages two dollars, an' play din' wid me how it 
was a Christian's duty to bear wid hay thins, an' taich 'em all 
in our power, — the saints save us! Well, the ways an' 
trials I had wid that Chineser, Ann Ryan, I couldn't be 
tellin'. Not a blissed thing cud I do, but he'd be lookin' on 



MISS MALONY ON THE CHINESE QUESTION. 439 

wid eyes cocked np'ard like two poomp-handles, an' he 
widdout a speck or smitch o' whishkers on him, an' his finger 
nails full a yard long. But it's dyin' you'd be to see the 
missus a-larnin' him, an' he grinnin' an' waggin' his pig-tail, 
(which was pieced out long wid some black stoof, the hay- 
then chate !) an' gettin' into her ways wonderful quick, I 
don't deny, imitatin' that sharp, you'd be shurprised, an' 
ketchin' an' copyin' things the best of us will do a-hurried 
wid work, yet don't wan't com in* to the knowledge of the 
family, — bad luck to him ! 

Is it ate icid him? Arrah, an' would I be sittin' wid a 
haythen, an' he a-atin wid drum sticks, — 3-es, an' atin' dogs 
an' cats unknownst to me, I warrant }'ou, which it is the 
custom of them Chinesers, till the thought made me that 
sick I could die. An' didn't the crayture proffer to help me 
a wake ago come Toosday, an' me a foldin' down me clane 
clothes for ironin', an' fill his hay thin mouth wid water, an', 
afore I could hinder, squirrit it through his teeth stret over 
the best linen table-cloth, an' fold it up tight, as innercent 
now as a baby, the dirrity baste ! But the worrest of all 
was the copyin' he'd be doin' till ye'd be dishtracted. It's 
yerself knows the tinder feet that's on me since iver I've 
bin in this counthry. Well, owin' to that, I fell into a way 
o' slippin' me shoes off when I'd be settin' down to pale the 
praties or the likes o' that, an', do ye mind? that haythen 
would do the same thing after me, whinivir the missus set 
him to parin' apples or tomaterses. The saints in Heaven 
couldn't have made him belave he cud kape the shoes on him 
when he'd be paylin' any thing. 

Did I lave far that? Faix, an' I didn't. Didn't he get 
me into throuble with me missus, the haythen? You're 
aware j^ersel' how the boondles comin' in from the grocery 
often contains more'n'll go into an}' thing dacently. So, for 
that matter, I'd now an' then take out a sup o' sugar, or 
flour, or tay, an' wrap it in paper, an' put it in me bit of a 
box tucked under the ironin' blankit, the how it cuddent be 
bodderin' anv one. Well, what shud it be, but this blessed 



440 CHOICE READINGS. 

Sathurday morn, the missus was a spakin' pleasant an' re- 
spec' ful wid me in me kitchen, when the grocer boy comes 
in an' stands fornenst her wid his boondles, an' she motions 
like to Fi-ng Wing, (which I never would call him by that 
name nor any other but just haythin,) she motions to him, 
she does, for to take the boondles an' empty out the sugar, 
an' what not, where they belongs. If you'll belave me, Ann 
Ryan, what did that blatherin' Chineser do but take out a 
sup o' sugar, an' a handful o' tay, an' a bit o' chase right 
afore the missus, wrap them into bits o' paper, an' I spache- 
less wid shurprise, an' he the next minute up wid the ironin' 
blankit an' pullin' out me box wid a show o' bein' sly to put 
them in. Och, the Lord forgive me, but I clutched it, an' 
the missus sayin', " O Kitty! " in a way that 'ud middle 
your blood. "He's a haythin nager," says I. " I've found 
you out," sa^ys she. "I'll arrist him," says I. " It's you 
ought to be arristed," says she. "You won't," says I. " I 
will," says she ; an' so it went till she give me such sass as 
I cuddent take from no lady, an' I give her warnin' an' left 
that instant, an' she a-pointin' to the doore. 

^v^o* 

JIMMY BUTLER AND THE OWL. 

'Twas in the Summer of '46 that I landed at Hamilton, 
fresh as a new pratie just dug from the " ould sod," an' wid 
a light heart an' a heavy bundle I sot off for the township of 
Buford, tiding a taste of a song, as merry a young fellow as 
iver took the road. Well, I trudged on an' on, past many a 
plisint place, pleasin' myself wid the thought that some day 
I might have a place of m}^ own, wid a world of chickens an' 
ducks an' pigs an' childer about the door ; an' along in the 
afternoon of the sicond day I got to Buford village. A cousin 
of me mother's, one Dennis O'Dowd, lived about sivin miles 
from there, an' I wanted to make his place that night, so I 
inquired the wa} r at the tavern, an' was lucky to find a man 
who was goin' part of the way, an' would show me the way 



JIMMY BUTLER AND THE OWL. 441 

to find Dennis. Sure he was very kind indade. an\ when I 
got out of his wagon, he pointed me through the wood, an' 
tould me to go straight south a mile an' a half, an' the first 
house would be Dennis's. 

•• An' you've no time to lose now.'' said he. w - for the Sun 
is low. an' mind you don't get lost in the woods." 

••Is it lost now." said I. •• that I'd be gittin'. an' me uncle 
as great a navigator as iver steered a ship across the thraek- 
less say? Not a bit of it. though I'm obleeged to ye for 
your kind advice, an' thank yiz for the ride." 

An" wid that he drove off an' left me alone. I shouldered 
me bundle bravely, an', whistlin' a bit of time for company 
like. I pushed into the bush. TVell, I went a long way over 
bogs, an' turnin' round among the bush an' trees till I began 
to think I must be well nigh to Dennis's. But. bad cess to 
it ! all of a sudden I came out of the woods at the very iden- 
tical spot where I started in. which I knew by an oulcl 
crotched tree that seemed to be standin' on its head an' kick- 
in' up its heels to make diversion of me. By this time it 
was growin' dark. an', as there was no time to lose. I started 
in a second time, determined to keep straight south this time, 
an' no mistake. I got on bravely for a while, but och hone ! 
och hone ! it got so dark I couldn't see the trees, an' I 
bumped me nose an' barked me shins, while the miskaties 
bit me hands an' face to a blister; an', after tumblin' an' 
stumblin' around till I was fairly bamfoozled. I sat down on 

I _. all of a trimble, to think that I was lost intirely. an' 
that maybe a lion or some other wild craythur would devour 
me before morning. 

Jest then I heard somebody a long way off say. ""Whip 
poor Will!" •• Bedad." sez I. "I'm glad it isn't Jamie 
that's got to take it. though it seems it's more in sorrow than 
in anger they are doin' it. or why should they say. • poor 
Will ' ? an' sure they can't be Injin. haythin. or naygur. for 
it's plain English they're afther spakin'. Maybe they might 
help me out o' this.'' so I shouted at the top of my voice. 



442 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

"A lost man!" Thin I listened. Prisently an answer 
came. 

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" 

"Jamie Butler, the waiver!" sez I, as loud as I could 
roar, an', snatchin' up me bundle an' stick, I started in the 
direction of the voice. Whin I thought I had got near the 
place, I stopped an' shouted again, " A lost man ! " 

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" said a voice right over my 
head. 

" Sure," thinks I, " it's a mighty quare place for a man to 
be at this time of night ; maybe it's some settler scrapin' 
sugar off a sugar-bush for the children's breakfast in the 
mornin'. But where' s Will and the rest of them?" All 
this wint through me head like a flash, an' thin I answered 
his inquiry. 

"Jamie Butler, the waiver," sez I; "an', if it wouldn't 
inconvanience yer Honour, would yez be kind enough to step 
down an' show me the way to the house of Dennis 
O'Dowcl?" 

" Who ! Whoo ! Whooo ! " sez he. 

" Dennis O'Dowd," sez I, civil enough, " an' a dacent 
man he is, and first cousin to me own mother." 

" Who ! Whoo ! Whooo ! " says he again. 

" Me mother ! " sez I, " an' as fine a woman as iver peeled 
a biled pratie wid her thumb nail, an' her maiden name was 
Molly McFiggin." 

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" 

"Paddy McFiggin! bad luck to yer deaf ould head, 
Paddy McFiggin, I say, — do ye hear that? An' he was 
the tallest man in all the county Tipperary, excipt Jim 
Doyle, the blacksmith." 

"Who! Whoo! Whooo!" 

" Jim Doyle the blacksmith," sez I, " ye good for nothin' 
blaggard naygur, an', if yiz don't come down an' show me 
the way this min't, I'll climb up there an' break every bone 
in your skin, ye spalpeen, so sure as me name is Jimmy 
Butler ! " 



JIMMY BUTLER AND THE OWL. 443 

" Who ! Whoo ! Whooo ! " sez he, as impident as iver. 

I said niver a word, but lavin' down me bundle, an' takin' 
me stick in me teeth, I began to climb the tree. Whin I 
got among the branches I looked quietly around till I saw a 
pair of big eyes just forninst me. 

" Whist," sez I, " an' I'll let him have a taste of an Irish 
stick," an' wid that I let drive, an' lost me balance an' came 
tumblin' to the ground, nearly breakin' me neck wid the fall. 
When I came to me sinsis I had a very sore head, wid a lump 
on it like a goose egg, an' half of me Sunday coat-tail torn 
off intirely. I spoke to the chap in the tree, but could git 
niver an answer at all, at all. 

" Sure," thinks I, "he must have gone home to rowl up 
his head, for by the powers I didn't throw me stick for 
nothin'." 

Well, by this time the Moon was up, an' I could see a 
little, an' I detarmined to make one more effort to reach 
Dennis's. 

I wint on cautiously for a while, an' thin I heard a bell. 
" Sure," sez I, "I'm comin' to a settlement now, for I hear 
the church bell." I kept on toward the sound till I came to 
an ould cow wid a bell on. She started to run, but I was 
too quick for her, an' got her b} T the tail an' hung on, think- 
in' that maybe she would take me out of the woods. On we 
wint, like an ould country steeple-chase, till, sure enough, 
we came out to a clearin', an' a house in sight wid a light in 
it. So, leavin' the ould cow puffin' an' blowin' in a shed, I 
went to the house, an', as luck would have it, whose should 
it be but Dennis's ? 

He gave me a raal Irish welcome, an' introduced me to his 
two daughters, — as purty a pair of girls as iver ye clapped 
an eye on. But, whin I tould him me adventure in the 
woods, an' about the fellow who made fun of me, they all 
laughed an' roared, an' Dennis said it was an owl. 

" An ould what? " sez I. 

" Why, an owl, a bird," sez he. 



444 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Do ye tell me now? " sez I. " Sure it's a quare country 
and a quare bird." 

An' thin they all laughed again, till at last I laughed my- 
self that hearty like, an' dropped right into a chair between 
the two purty girls, an' the ould chap winked at me and 
roared again. 

Dennis is me father-in-law now, an' he often yet delights 
to tell our children about their daddy's adventure wid the 
owl. 

ITALIAN. 
A SENATOE ENTANGLED. 

James De Mille. 

The Countess di Nottinero was not exactly a Recamier, 
but she was a remarkably brilliant woman, and the acknowl- 
edged leader of the liberal part of Florentine society. 

The good Senator had never before encountered a 
thorough woman of the world, and was as ignorant as a 
child of the innumerable little harmless arts by which the 
power of such a one is extended and secured. At last the 
Senator came to this conclusion, — La Cica was desperately 
in love with him. 

She appeared to be a widow. At least she had no hus- 
band that he had ever seen. Now, if the poor Cica was 
hopelessly in love, it must be stopped at once. But let it 
be done delicately, not abruptly. 

One evening the}' walked on the balcony of La Cica's 
noble residence. She was sentimental, devoted, charming. 

The conversation of a fascinating woman does not sound 
so well when it is reported as it is when uttered. Her power 
is in her tone, her glance, her manner. Who can catch the 
evanescent beaut} r of her expression or the deep tenderness 
of her well modulated voice ? — who indeed ? 

" Does ze scene please you, nry Senator? " 

"Very much indeed." 
* 



A SENATOR ENTANGLED. 445 

" Yonar countryman haf tol me zey would like to stay 
here alloway." 

" It is a beautiful place." 

"Did you aiver see any thin moaire loafely?" And the 
Countess looked full in his face. 

"Never," said the Senator, earnestly. The next instant 
he blushed. He had been betrayed into a compliment. 

The Countess sighed. 

" Helas ! my Senator, that it is not pairmitted to mortals 
to sociate as zey would laike." 

'* l Your Senator,' " thought the gentleman thus addressed ; 
" how foud, how tender, — poor thing ! poor thing ! " 

" I wish that Italy was nearer to the States," said he. 

" How I adamiar youar style of mind, so different from ze 
Italiana ! You are so strong, — so nobile. Yet would I 
laike to see moar of ze poetic in you." 

"I always loved poetiy, marm," said the Senator, des- 
perately. 

"Ah — good — nais — eccelente. I am plees at zat," 
cried the Countess, with much animation. "You would 
loafe it moar eef you knew Italiano. Your langua ees not 
sufficient musicale for poatrv." 

" It is not so soft a language as the Jtalian." 

" Ah — no — not so soft. Very well. And what theenka 
you of ze Italiano ? " 

"The sweetest language I ever heard in all my born 
da}*s." 

"Ah now — } r ou hev not heard much of ze Italiano, my 
Senator." 

"I have heard you speak often," said the Senator, 
naively. 

" Ah, you compliment ! I sot you was aboove flattera." 

And the Countess playfully tapped his arm with her little 
fan. 

" What Ingelis poet do you loafe best? " 

"Poet? English poet?" said the Senator, with some sur- 



446 CHOICE READINGS. 

prise. " O — why, marm, I think Watts is about the best 
of the lot." 

"Watt? Was he a poet? I did not know zat. He who 
invented ze stim-injaine ? And yet if he was a poet it is nat- 
urale zat you loafe him best." 

" Steam-engine? O no ! This one was a minister." 

"A meeneestaire ? Ah! an abbe? I know him not. 
Yet I have read mos of all 3-ouar poets." 

" He made up hymns, marm, and psalms, — for instance, 
4 Watts's Divine Hymns and Spiritual Songs.' " 

"Songs? Spirituelle? Ah, I mus at once procuaire ze 
works of Watt, which was favorit poet of my Senator." 

" A lady of such intelligence as you would like the poet 
Watts," said the Senator, firmly. "He is the best known 
by far of all our poets." 

''What! better zan Sakespeare, Milton, Bairon? You 
much surprass me." 

"Better known and better loved than the whole lot. 
Why, his poetry is known by heart through all England and 
America." 

"Merciful Heaven! what you tell me! ees eet possble ! 
An yet he is not known here efen by name. It would please 
me mooch, my Senator, to haire 30U make one quotatione. 
Know you Watt? Tell to me some words of his which I 
may remembaire." 

" I have a shocking bad memoiy." 

"Bad memora ! O, but you remember somethin, zis mos 
beautiful charm nait, — you haf a nobile soul, — you mus be 
affecta by beauty, — by ze ideal. Make for a me one quota- 
tione." 

And she rested her little hand on the Senator's arm, and 
looked up imploringly in his face. 

The Senator looked foolish. He felt even more so. Here 
was a beautiful woman, by act and look showing a tender 
interest in him. Perplexing, — but very flattering, after all. 
So he replied, — 

" You will not let me refuse any thing." 



A SENATOR ENTANGLED. 447 

"Aha! you are vera willin' to refuse. It is difficult}' for 
me to excitaire youar regards. You are fill with the grands 
ideas. But come, — will you spik for me some from your 
favorit Watt?" 

'• Well, if 3'ou wish it so much," said the Senator, kindly ; 
and he hesitated. 

" Ah, — I do wis it so much ! " 

"Ehem!" 

" Begin," said the Countess. "Behold me. I listen. I 
hear every sin, and will remembaire it forava." 

The only thing that the Senator could think of was a verse 
which had been running in his head for the last few da}'S, 
its measured rhythm keeping time with every occupation : 

" ' My willing soul would stay — ' " 

" Stop one moment," said the Countess. " I weesh to 
learn it from you" ; and she looked fondly and tenderly up, 
but instantly dropped her eyes. 

" i Ma willina sol wooda sta — ' " 

" ' In such a frame as this,' " prompted the Senator. 

" ' Een socha framas zees.' Wait — 'Ma willina sol 
wooda sta in socha framas zees.' Ah, appropriate but 
could I hope zat you were true to zose lines, my Senator? 
Well?" 

" ; And sit and sing herself away,' " said the Senator, in a 
faltering voice, and breaking out into a cold perspiration for 
fear of committing himself b}~ such uncommonly strong lan- 
guage. 

" ' Ansit ansin hassaf awai,' " repeated the Countess, her 
face lighting up with a sweetly conscious expression. 

The Senator paused. 

"Well?" 

"I — ehem ! I forget." 

"Forget? Impossble ! " 

" I do really." 

"Ah now! Forget! I see by } T ouar face — you desave. 
Say on." 



448 CHOICE READINGS. 

The Countess again gently touched his arm with both of 
her little hands, and held it as though she would clasp it. 

" Have you fear? Ah, cruel ! " 

The Senator turned pale, but, finding refusal impossible, 
boldly finished : 

" ' To everlasting bliss ' — there ! " 

" ' To affarlastin blees thar.' Stop. I repeat it all : ' Ma 
willina sol wooda sta in socha framas zees, ansit ansin has- 
saf awai to affarlastin blees thar.' Am I right?" 

" Yes," said the Senator meekly. 

" I knew you war a poetic sola," said the Countess, con- 
fidingly. "You are honesto — true — you cannot desave. 
When you spik I can beliv you. Ah, m}- Senator ! an you 
can spik zis poetry! — at soch a taime ! I nefare knew 
befoare zat you wos so impassione ! — an you air so artaful ! 
You breeng ze confersazione to beauty — to poatry — to ze 
poet Watt, — so you may spik verses mos impassione ! Ah ! 
what do you mean? Santissima madra 1 how I wish you 
spik Italiano." 

The Countess drew nearer to him, but her approach only 
deepened his perplexity. 

" How that poor thing does love me ! " sighed the Senator. 
"Law bless it! she can't help it, — can't help it nohow. 
She is a goner ; and what can I do ? I'll have to leave Flor- 
ence." 

The Countess was standing close beside him in a tender 
mood, waiting for him to break the silence. How could he? 
He had been uttering words which sounded to her like love ; 
and she — "a widow ! a widow ! a widow ! wretched man 
that I am ! " 

There was a pause. The longer it lasted the more awk- 
ward the Senator felt. What upon earth was he to do or 
say? What business had he to go and quote poetry to 
widows ? What an old fool he must be ! But the Countess 
was very far from feeling awkward. Assuming an elegant 
attitude, she looked up, her face expressing the tenderest 
solicitude. 



CHRISTMAS-NIGHT CN THE QUARTERS. 449 

•■ What ails idy Senatoi \ " 

•• Why, the fact is. inarm. — I feel sad — at leaving F - 
ence. I must go shortly. My wife has written summoning 
me home. The children are down with the measles. " 

O base fabrication ! O false Senator ! There wasn't a 
word of truth in that remark. You spoke so because 
wished La Cica to know that you had a wife aud family. 
Yet it was very badly done. 

La Cica changed neither her attitude nor her expression. 
tly the existence of his wife and the melancholy situ- 
ation of his unfortunate children awakened no sympathy. 

••But. my Senator, — did you not say you wooda seeng 
yoursellef away to afiarlastin blees : 

•■ marm. it was a notation. — only a quotation." 

B d : at this critical juncture the conversation was broken 
up by the arrival of a number of ladies and gentlemen. 



NEGL . 

CHEISIYAS-yiC-HI IX IHE QUAEIEES. 

Abridged and arranged for public recitation. 

When merry Christmas- is lone. 
And Christmas-night is just begun ; 
While clouds in slow procession drift 

ish the moon-man " C hristmas gift," 
Yet linger overhead, to kn: — 
What causes all the stir bel >w ; 
At Uncle Johnny Booker's ball 
The darkies hold high can:: 
F: m all the country-side they throng. 
With laughter, shouts, and scraps of song, 
Their whole deportment plainly showing 
That to *• the frolic"' they are going. 



450 CHOICE READINGS. 

Some take the path with shoes in hand, 
To traverse muddy bottom-land ; 
Aristocrats their steeds bestride, — 
Four on a mule, behold them ride ! 
And ten great oxen draw apace 
The wagon from " de oder place," 
With forty guests, where conversation 
Betokens glad anticipation. 

In this our age of printer's ink, 
'Tis books that show us how to think, — 
The rule reversed, and set at nought, 
That held that books were born of thought 
We form our minds by pedants' rules ; 
And all we know, is from the schools ; 
And when we work, or when we phiy, 
We do it in an ordered way. 

Untrammel'd thus, the simple race is, 
That " works the craps" on cotton-places ! 
Original in act and thought, 
Because unlearned and untaught, 
Observe them at their Christmas party. 
How unrestrain'd their mirth, how hearty ! 
How many things they say and do 
That never would occur to you ! 
See Brudder Brown — whose saving grace 
Would sanctifj' a quarter-race — 
Out on the crowded floor advance, 
To "be£ a blessin' on dis dance." 



O Mahsr ! let dis gath'rin' fin' a blessin' in yo' sight ! 

Don't jedge us hard for what we does, — you knows its Chrismus 

night ; 
An' all de balunce ob de yeah, we does as right's we kin : 
Ef dancin's wrong, O Mahsr ! let de time excuse de sin ! 

We labours in de vineya'd, workin' hard, an' workin' true ; 
Now, shorely you won't notus, ef we eats a grape or two, 



CHRISTMAS-NIGHT IN THE QUARTERS. 451 

An' takes a leetle holiday, — a leetle restin'-spell, — 

Bekase, nex' week, we'll start in fresh, an' labour twicet as well. 

Remember, Mahsr, — min' dis now, — de sinfulness ob sin 
Is pendin' 'pon de sperret what we goes an' does it in : 
An' in a righchis frame ob min' we's gwine to dance an' sing; 
A-feelin' like King David, when he cut de pigeon-wing. 

It seems to me, — indeed it do, — [ mebbe mout be wrong, — 
That people raly ought to dance, when Chrismus comes along : 
Des dance bekase dey's happy, like de birds hops in de trees ; 
De pine-top fiddle soundin' to de blowin' ob de breeze. 

We has no ark to dance afore, like Isrul's prophet king; 
We has no harp to soun' de chords, to holp us out to sing ; 
But cordin' to de gif's we has we does de bes' we knows, 
An' folks don't 'spise de vi'let-flow'r bekase it ain't de rose. 

You bless us, please sah, eben ef we's doin' wrong to-night ; 
Kase den we'll need de blessin' more'n ef we's doin' right ; 
An' let de blessin' stay wid us untell we comes to die, 
An' goes to keep our Chrismus wid dem sheriffs in de sky ! 

Yes, tell dem preshis anjuls we's a gwine to jine 'em soon : 
Our voices we's a-trainin' for to sing de glory tune ; 
We's ready when you wants us, an' it ain't no matter when ; 
O Mahsr ! call yo' chillen soon, an' take 'em home ! Amen. 



The reverend man is scarcely through, 
WHien all the noise begins anew, 
And with such force assaults the ears, 
That through the din one hardly hears 
Old Fiddling Josey " sound his A," — 
Correct the pitch, — begin to play, — 
Stop, satisfied, — then, with the bow, 
Rap out the signal dancers know : 



Git yo'' pardners, fust kwattilion ! 

Stomp yo' feet, an' raise 'em high ; 
Tune is, " O, dat water-million ! 

Gwine to git to home bimc-bye." 



452 CHOICE READINGS. 

S'lute yo' pardners I — scrape perlitely, - 
Don't be buinpin' gin de res', — 

Balance all! — now, step out rightly; 
Alluz dance yo' lebbel bes'. 

Fo' iva' d foah ! — whoop up, niggers ! 

Back ag'in I — don't be so slow, — 
Swing yo' cornahs ! — min' de liggers : 

When I hollers, den 3-0' go. 

Ladies change ! — shet up dat talkin' : 
Do yo' talkin' arter while, — 

Right an' lef I — ■ don't want no walkin' 
Make 3^0' steps, an' show 3^0' style ! 

Hands around! — hoi' up yo' faces, 
Don't be lookin' at yo' feet ! 

Swing yo* pardners to yo' p/aces / 
Dat's de way, — dat's hard to beat. 



And so the " set" proceeds, its length 

Determined by the dancers' strength ; 

And all agreed to yield the palm, 

For grace and skill, to " Georgy Sam," 

Who stamps so hard, and leaps so high, 

" Des watch him ! " is the wondering ciy, — 

" De nigger mus' be, for a fac', 

Own cousin to a jumpin'-jack ! " 

On, on, the restless fiddle sounds, — 

Still chorus'd 03' the curs and hounds, — 

Dance after dance succeeding fast, 

Till " supper" is announced at last. 

That scene, — but why attempt to show it? 

The most inventive modern poet, 

In fine new words whose hope and trust is, 

Could form no phrase to do it justice ! 

When supper ends, — that is not soon, — 

The fiddler strikes the same old tune ; 



THE FIRST BANJO. 453 

The dancers pound the floor again, 
With all they have of might and main ; 

The night is spent ; and, as the day 
Throws up the first faint flash of gray, 
The guests pursue their homeward way ; 
And through the field beyond the gin, 
Just as the stars are going in, 
See Santa Claus departing, — grieving, — 
His own dear Land of Cotton leaving. 
His work is done, — he fain would rest, 
Where people know and love him best ; 
He pauses, — listens, — looks about, — - 
But go he must : his pass is out ; 
So, coughing down the rising tears, 
He climbs the fence and disappears. 
And thus observes a coloured youth, 
(The common sentiment, in sooth,) 
u O, what a blessin' 'tw'u'd ha' been, 
Ef Santy had been born a twin ! 
We'd hab two Chrismuses a } T eah, 
Or p'r'aps one brudder'd settle heah ! " 

THE HEST BANJO. 

Irwin Russell. 

Go'way, fiddle ! — folks is tired o' hearin' you a-sqiiawkin' : 
Keep silence fur yo' betters, — don't yo' heah de banjo talkin'? 
About de 'possum's tail she's goin to lecter. — ladies, listen! — 
About de ha'r what isn't dar, an' why de ha'r is missin'. 

"Par's gwine to be a oberflow," said Noah, lookin' solemn, — 
Fur Noah took de Herald, an* he read de ribber column, — 
An' so he sot his hands to work a-clarin* timber-patches, 
An' low'd he's gwine to build a boat to beat the steamah Natchez. 

01' Noah kep' a-nailin', an' a-chippin', an' a-sawin' ; 

An' all de wicked neighbours kep' a-laughin, an' a-pshawin' ; 



454 CHOICE READINGS. 

But Noah didn't min' 'em, — knowin' what wuz gwine to happen : 
An' forty days an' forty nights de rain it kep' a-droppin'. 

Now, Noah had done catch'd a lot ob eb'ry sort o' beas'es, 
Ob all de shows a-trabbelin, it beat 'em all to pieces ! 
He had a Morgan colt, an' sebral head o' Jarsey cattle, — 
An' drew 'em board de ark as soon's he heer'd de thunder rattle. 

Den sech anoder fall ob rain ! — it come so awful hebby, 

De ribber riz immejitly, an' busted troo de lebbee; 

De people all wuz drownded out, 'cep' Noah an' de critters, 

An' men he'd hired to work de boat, — an' one to mix de bitters. 

De ark she kep' a-sailin', an' a-sailin', an' a-sailin' ; 

De lion got his dander up, an' like to bruk de palin', — 

De sarpints hiss'd, — de painters yell'd. — tell, what wid all de fussin', 

You c'u'dn't hardly heah de mate a-bossin' roun an' cussin'. 

Now, Ham, de only nigger what was runnin' on de packet, 
Got lonesome in de barber-shop, an' c'u'dn't stan' de racket; 
>An' so, for to amuse he-se'f, he steam'd some wood an' bent it, 
An' soon he had a banjo made, — de fust dat wuz invented. 

He wet de ledder, stretch'd it on ; made bridge, an' screws, an' apron ; 

An' fitted in a proper neck, — 'twas berry long an' tap'rin' ; 

He tuk some tin, and twisted him a thimble for to ring it ; 

An' den de mighty question riz, Plow wuz he gwine to string it? 

De possum had as fine a tail as dis dat I's a singin' ; 
De ha'rs so long, an' thick an' strong, — des fit for banjo-stringiir ; 
Dat nigger shaved 'em off as short as wash-day-dinner graces ; 
An' sorted ob 'em by de size, frum little E's to basses. 

He strung her, tuned her, struck a jig, — 'twuz " Nebber min' de 

wedder " ; 
She sonn' like forty-lebben bands a-playing' all togedder ; 
Some went to pattin* ; some to dancin'; Noah call'd de figgers; 
An Ham he sot an' knock'd de tune, de happiest ob niggers ! 

Now, sence dat time, — it's mighty strange, — dere's not de slightes' 

showin' 
Ob any ha'r at all upon de possum's tail a-growin' ; 
An' curis, too, — dat nigger's wa}^s ! his people nebber los' 'em, — 
For whar you finds de nigger, — dar's de banjo an' de 'possum. 



uncle dan'l's apparition. 455 

UNCLE DAN'L'S APPAKITION. 

Clemens and Warner. 

Whatever the lagging, dragging journey from Tennessee 
to Missouri may hare been to the rest of the emigrants, it 
was a wonder and delight to the children, a world of enchant- 
ment ; and they believed it to be peopled with the mysterious 
dwarfs and giants and goblins that figured in the tales the 
negro slaves were in the habit of telling them nightly by the 
shuddering light of the kitchen fire. 

At the end of nearly a week of travel, the party went into 
camp near a shabby village which was caving, house by 
house, into the hungry Mississippi. The river astonished 
the children beyond measure. Its mile-breadth of water 
seemed an ocean to them, in the shadowy twilight, and the 
vague riband of trees on the further shore, the verge of a 
continent which surely none but they had ever seen before. 

;i Uncle Dan'l," (coloured,) aged 40; his wife, ' w Aunt 
Jinny." aged 30 ; ;t Young Miss" Emily Hawkins, '- Young 
Mars" Washington Hawkins, and "Young Mars" Clay, the 
new member of the family, ranged themselves on a log, after 
supper, and contemplated the marvellous river and discussed 
it. The Moon rose and sailed aloft through a maze of 
shredded cloud-wreaths : the sombre river just perceptibly 
brightened under the veiled light ; a deep silence pervaded 
the air, and was emphasized, at intervals, rather than broken, 
by the hooting of an owl, the baying of a dog, or the muffled 
crash of a caving bank in the distance. 

The little company assembled on the log were all children, 
(at least in simplicity and broad and comprehensive igno- 
rance,) and the remarks the}* made about the river were in 
keeping with their character ; and so awed were they by the 
grandeur and the solemnity of the scene before them, and by 
their belief that the air was filled with invisible spirits, and 
that the faint zephyrs were caused by their passing wings, 
that all their talk took to itself a tinge of the supernatural, 



45G CHOICE READINGS. 

and their voices were subdued to a low and reverent tone. 
Suddenly Uncle Dan'l exclaimed : 

" Chil'en, dah's sumfin a-comin' !" 

All crowded close together, and every heart beat faster. 
Uncle Dan'l pointed down the river with his boiry finger. 

A deep coughing sound troubled the stillness, away toward 
a wooded cape that jutted into the stream a mile distant. 
All in an instant a fierce eye of fire shot out from behind the 
cape, and sent a long, brilliant pathwa}' quivering athwart the 
dusky water. The coughing grew louder and louder, the glar- 
ing eye grew larger and still larger, glared wilder and still 
wilder. A huge shape developed itself out of the gloom, and 
from its tall duplicate horns dense volumes of smoke, starred 
and spangled with sparks, poured out and went tumbling 
away into the further darkness. Nearer and nearer the thing 
came, till its long sides began to glow with spots of light 
which mirrored themselves in the river, and attended the 
monster like a torchlight procession. 

" What is it? O ! what is it, Uncle Dan'l ? " 

With deep solemnity the answer came : 

" It's de Almighty ! Git down on yo' knees ! " 

It was not necessary to saj- it twice. The}' were all kneel- 
ing in a moment. And then, while the mysterious coughing 
rose stronger and stronger, and the threatening glare reached 
further and wider, the negro's voice lifted up its supplica- 
tions : 

" O Lord, we's been mighty wicked, an' we knows dat we 
'zerve to go to de bad place, but good Lord, cleah Lord, we 
ain't ready yit, we ain't ready, — let dese po' chil'en hab one 
mo' chance, jes' one mo' chance. Take de ole niggah if you's 
got to hab somebody. Good Lord, good deah Lord, we don't 
know whah you's a-gwine to, we don't know who you's got 
yo' eye on. but we knows by de way you's a-comin' , we knows 
by de way you's a-tiltin' along in yo' charyot o' fiah, dat some 
po' sinner's a-gwine to ketch it. But, good Lord, dese chil'en 
don't 'blong heah, dey's f'm Obedstown, whah dey don't know 
uuffin, an' you knows yo' own sef, dat dey ain't 'sponsible. 



uncle dan'l' s apparition. 457 

An', deah Lord, good Lord, it ain't like yo' mercy, it ain't 
like yo' pity, it ain't like yo' long-sufferin' lovin' kindness, 
for to take dis kind o' 'vantage o' sich little chU'en as dese is, 
when dey's so many grown folks chuck full o' cussedness dat 
wants roastin' down dah. O Lord, spah de little chil'en, 
don't tar de little chil'en away f'm cley frens, jes' let 'em off, 
jes' dis once, and take it out'n de ole niggah. Heah I is, 
Lord, heah I is ! De ole niggah 's read}*, Lord, de ole — " 
The flaming; and churning steamer was rio'ht abreast the 

O o o 

party, and not twenty steps away. The awful thunder of a 
mud-valve suddenly burst forth, drowning the prayer, and as 
suddenly Uncle Dan'l snatched a child under each arm and 
scoured into the woods with the rest of the pack at his heels. 
And then, ashamed of himself, he halted in the deep darkness 
and shouted, (but rather feebly,) 

kt Heah I is, Lord, heah I is !" 

There was a moment of throbbing suspense, and then, to 
the surprise and comfort of the party, it was plain that the 
august presence had gone by, for its dreadful noises were 
receding. Uncle Dan'l headed a cautious reconnoissance in 
the direction of the log. Sure enough " The Lord "was just 
turning a point a short distance up the river ; and, while they 
looked, the lights winked out, and the coughing diminished by 
degrees, and presently ceased altogether. 

"H'wsh! Well, now dey's some folks says dey ain't no 
'ficiencj' in prah. Dis chile would like to know whah we'd a 
ben now if it warn't fo' dat prah? Dat's it. Dat's it !" 

" Uncle Dan'l, do you reckon it was the prayer that saved 
us ? " said Clay. 

k - Does I reckon? Don't I know it ! \Yhah was yo' eyes? 
AYarn't de Lord jes' a-comin' chow ! cJioiv ! chow ! an' a-goin' 
on tumble ; an' do de Lord carry on dat way 'dout dey's 
snmfin don't suit him? An' warn't he a-lookin' right at dis. 
gang heah, an' warn't he jes' a-reachin' for 'em? An' d' you 
spec' he gwine to let 'em off 'dout somebody ast him to do it? 
No indeedy ! " 

t; Do you reckon he saw us. Uncle Dan'l?" 



458 CHOICE READINGS. 

" De law sakes, chile, didn't I see him a-lookin' at us?" 

-' Did you feel scared, Uncle Dan'l? " 

" No sail ! When a man is 'gaged in prah, he ain't 'fraid 
o' nuffin, — de}* can't nuffin tech him." 

•' Well, what did you run for? " 

"Well, I — I — Mars Clay, when a man is under de in- 
fluence ob cle sperit, he clunno what he's 'bout, — no sah ; 
dat man dunno what he's 'bout. You mout take an' tali de 
head ofT'n dat man, an' he wouldn't scasely fine it out. Dah's 
de Hebrew chil'en dat went frough de fiah ; dey was burnt 
considable, — ob course dey was; but dey didn't know 
nuffin 'bout it, — heal right up agin : if dey'd ben gals dey'd 
missed dey long haah, maybe, but dey wouldn't felt de bum." 

-•I don't know but what the} r ivere girls. I think they 
were." 

" Now, Mars Clay, you knows better'n dat. Sometimes 
a body can't tell whedder you's a-sayin' what you means or 
whedder you's a-sayin' what you dou't mean, 'case you says 
'em bofe de same way." 

-' But how should / know whether they were boys or 
girls?" 

'-Goodness sakes, Mars Clay, don't de good book say? 
'Sides, don't it call 'em de iTe-brew chil'en? If dey was 
gals wouldn't cley be de she-brew chil'en ? Some people dat 
kin read don't 'pear to take no notice when de} T do read." 

"Well, Uncle Dan'l, I think that — My! here comes 
another one up the river ! There can't be two ! " 

" We gone dis time, — we done gone dis time, sho' ! Dey 
ain't two, Mars Clay, — dat's de same one. De Lord kin 
'pear eberywhah in a second. Goodness, how de fiah an' de 
smoke do belch up ! Dat mean business, hone}*. He comin' 
now like he fo'got sumfin. Come 'long, chil'en ; time you's 
gwine to roos'. Go 'long wid you, — ole Uncle Dan'l gwine 
out in de woods to rastle in prah, — de ole niggah gwine to 
do what he kin to sabe you agin." 

He did go to the woods and pray ; but he went so far that he 
doubted, himself, if the -• Lord" heard him when he went by. 



CHARLIE MACHREE. 459 

SCOTCH. 
OHAELIE MAOHEEE. 

William J. Hoppin. 

Come over, come over the river to me, 

If ye are my laddie, bold Charlie Machree ! 

Here's Mary McPherson and Susy O'Linn,** 

Who say ye're faint-hearted, and dare not plunge in. 

But the dark rolling river, though deep as the sea, 
I know cannot scare you, nor keep you from me ; 
For stout is your back and strong is your arm, 
And the heart in 3-our bosom is faithful and warm. 

Come over, come over the river to me, 
If ye are my laddie, bold Charlie Machree. 
I see him, I see him : he's plunged in the tide, 
His strong arms are dashing the big waves aside. 

O, the dark rolling water shoots swift as the sea, 
But blithe is the glance of his bonny blue e'e ; 
His cheeks are like roses, twa buds on a bough : 
Who says ye're faint-hearted, my brave laddie, now? 

Ho, ho, foaming river, ye may roar as ye go, 
But ye canna bear Charlie to the dark loch below ! 
Come over, come over the river to me. 
My true-hearted laddie, my Charlie Machree ! 

He's sinking, he's sinking, — O, what shall I do ! 
Strike out, Charlie, boldly, ten strokes and ye're thro'. 
He's sinking, O Heaven ! Ne'er fear, man, ne'er fear ; 
I've a kiss for 3-e, Charlie, as soon as ye're here ! 

He rises, I see him, — five strokes, Charlie, mair, — 
He's shaking the wet from his bonny brown hair ; 
He conquers the current, he gains on the sea, — 
Ho, where is the swimmer like Charlie Machree ! 



4 GO CHOICE READINGS. 

Come over the river, but once come to me, 

And I'll love ye forever, dear Charlie Machree. 

He's sinking, he's gone, — O God, it is I, • 

It is I, who have kill ' d him, — help, help ! — he must die. 

Help, help ! — ah, he rises, — strike out and ye're free. 
Ho, bravely clone, Charlie, once more now, for me ! 
Now cling to the rock, now give me 3-our hand, — 
Ye're safe, dearest Charlie, ye're safe on the land ! 

Come rest on my bosom, if there ye can sleep ; 
I canna speak to ye ; I only can weep. 
Ye've cross'd the wild river, ye've risk'd all for me, 
And I'll part frae ye never, dear Charlie Machree ! 

CUDDLE DOON. 

Alexander Anderson. 

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht 

Wi' muckle faucht an' din. 
" O, try and sleep, ye waukrife rogues ; 

Your father's comin' in." 
They never heed a word I speak : 

I try to gie a froon ; 
But a}-e I hap them up, an' cry, 

" O, bairnies, cuddle doon ! " 

Wee Jamie wi' the curley heid — 

He aye sleeps next the wa' — 
Bangs up an' cries, " I want a piece " — 

The rascal starts them a'. 
I rin an' fetch them pieces, drinks, — 

They stop a wee the soun', — 
Then draw the blankets up, and cry, 

" Noo, weanies, cuddle doon ! " 

But, ere five minutes gang, wee Rah 
Cries oot, frae 'neath the claes, 



JOHN ANDERSON, MY JO. 461 

" Mither, mak' Tam gie ower at ance ; 

He's kittlin' wi' his taes." 
The mischief's in that Tam for tricks : 

He'd bother half the toon ; 
But aye I hap them up, and cry, 

" O, bairnies, cuddle doon ! " 

At length they hear their father's fit ; 

An', as he steeks the door, 
They turn their faces to the wa', 

While Tam pretends to snore. 
" Hae a' the weans been gude? " he asks, 

As he pits aff his shoon. 
" The bairnies, John, are in their beds, 

An' lang since cuddled doou." 

An', just afore we bed oorsels, 

We look at oor wee lambs : 
Tam has his airm roun' wee Rab's neck, 

An' Rab his airm roun' Tarn's. 
I lift wee Jamie up the bed, 

An', as I straik each croon, 
I whisper, till my heart fills up, 

" O, bairnies, cuddle doon ! " 

The bairnies cuddle doon at nicht 

Wi' mirth that's dear to me ; 
But soon the big warl's cark an care 

Will quaten doon their glee : 
Yet, come what will to ilka ane, 

May He who sits aboon 
A}-e whisper, though their pows be bauld, 

" O bairnies, cuddle doon ! " 

JOHN ANDEBSON, MY JO, 

Robert Burns. 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 
When we were first acquent, 



462 CHOICE READINGS. 

Your locks were like the raven, 
Your bonnie brow was brent ; 

But now your brow is beld, John, 
Your locks are like the snaw : 

But blessings on your frosty pow, 
John Anderson, my jo. 

John Anderson, my jo, John, 

We clamb the hill thegither ; 
And mony a canty day, John, 

We've had wi' ane anither. 
Now we maun totter down, John, 

But hand in hand we'll go ; 
And sleep thegither at the foot, 

John Anderson, my jo. 



>^c 



JEANIE MOKEISON. 

Wit.liam Motherwell. 

I've wander'd east, I've wander'd west, 

Through mony a weary way ; 
But never, never can forget 

The luve o' life's } r oung day ! 
The fire that's blawn on Beltane e'en 

May weel be black gin Yule ; 
But blacker fa' awaits the heart 

Where first fond luve grows cule. 

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison, 

The thochts o' bygane years 
Still fling their shadows ower my path, 

And blind my een wi' tears : 
They blind my een wi' saut, saut tears, 

And sair and sick I pine, 
As memory idly summons up 

The blithe blinks o' langsyne. 



JEANIE MORRISON. 463 

'Twas then we luvit ilk ither weel, 

'Twas then we twa did part ; 
Sweet time — sad time ! twa bairns at scnle, 

Twa bairns, and but ae heart ! 
'Twas then we sat on ae laigh bink, 

To leir ilk ither lear ; 
And tones and looks and smiles were shed, 

Remember'd evermair. 

I wonder, Jeanie, aften yet, 

When sitting on that bink, 
Cheek touchin' cheek, loof lock'd in loof , 

What our wee heads could think. 
When baith bent down ower ae braid page, 

Wi' ae buik on our knee, 
Tlry lips were on thy lessons, but 

My lesson was in thee. 

O, mind ye how we hung our heads, 

How cheeks brent red wi' shame, 
Whene'er the scule-weans, laughin', said, 

We cleek'd thegither hame? 
And mind ye o' the Saturdays, 

(The scule then skail't at noon,) 
When we ran off to speel the braes, — 

The broom}' braes o' June ? 

My head rins round and round about, 

My heart flows like a sea, 
As ane b\ r ane the thochts rush back 

O' scule-time, and o' thee. 
O mornin' life ! mornin' luve ! 

O lichtsome da\ T s and lang, 
When hinnied hopes around our hearts 

Like simmer blossoms sprang ! 

O, mind ye, luve, how aft we left 
The deavin', diusome touu. 



464 CHOICE READINGS. 

To wander by the green burnside, 
And hear its waters croon ? 

The simmer leaves hung ower our heads, 
The flowers burst round our feet, 

And in the gloamin' o' the wood 
The throssil whusslit sweet : 

The throssil whusslit in the wood, 

The burn sang to the trees, 
And we, with Nature's heart in tune, 

Concerted harmonies ; 
And on the knowe abune the burn 

For hours thegither sat 
In the silentness o' joy, till baith 

Wi' very gladness grat. 

Ay, ay, dear Jeanie Morrison, 

Tears trickled down your cheek 
Like dew-beads on a rose, yet nane 

Had ony power to speak ! 
That was a time, a blessed time, 

When hearts were fresh and young, 
When freely gush'd all feelings forth, 

Uns3'llabled, — unsung ! 

I marvel, Jeanie Morrison, 

Gin I hae been to thee 
As closely twined wi' earliest throchts 

As ye hae been to me : 
O, tell me gin their music fills 

Thine ear as it does mine ! 
O, say gin e'er your heart grows grit 

Wi' dreamings o' langsyne ? 

I've wander'd east, I've wander'd west, 

I've borne a weary lot ; 
But in my wanderings, far or near, 

Ye never were forgot : 



MAGDALENA, OR THE SPANISH DUEL. 4Gi 

The fount that first burst frae this heart 

Still travels on its way ; 
And channels deeper, as it rins, 

The luve o' life's young day. 

O dear, dear Jeanie Morrison, 

Since we were sinder'd young 
I've never seen your face nor heard 

The music o' your tongue ; 
But I could hug all wretchedness, 

And happy could I dee, 
Did I but ken your heart still dream'd 

O' bygane days and me ! 

SPANISH. 

MAGDALENA, OR THE SPANISH DUEL. 

Near the city of Sevilla, 
Years and years ago, 

Dwelt a lady in a villa 
Years and years ago ; 
And her hair was black as night, 
And her eyes were starry bright ; 
Olives on her brow were blooming, 
Roses red her lips perfuming, 
And her step was light and airy 
As the tripping of a fairy : 
When she spoke, you thought, each minute, 
'Twas the trilling of a linnet ; 
When she sang, you heard a gush 
Of full-voiced sweetness like a thrush; 
And she struck from the guitar 
Ringing music, sweeter far 
Than the morning breezes make 
Through the lime trees when they shake, — 
Than the ocean murmuring o'er 



466 CHOICE READINGS. 

Pebbles on the foamy shore. 
Orphan'd both of sire and mother, 
Dwelt she in that lonely villa ; 
Absent now her guardian brother 

On a mission from Sevilla. 
Skills it little now the telling 

How I woo'd that maiden fair, 
Track' d her to her lonely dwelling, 
And obtain'd an entrance there. 
Ah ! that lady of the villa, — 

And I loved her so, 
Near the city of Sevilla, 
Years and years ago. 
Ay de mi ! — Like echoes falling 

Sweet and sad and low, 
Voices come at night, recalling 
Years and years ago. 

'Twas an autumn eve ; the splendour 

Of the day was gone, 
And the twilight, soft and tender, 

Stole so gently on 
That the eye could scarce discover 
How the shadows, spreading over, 

Like a vale of silver gray, 
Toned the golden clouds, sun-painted, 
Till they paled, and paled, and fainted 

From the face of heaven away : 
And a dim light, rising slowly, 

O'er the welkin spread, 
Till the blue sky, calm and holy, 

Gleam'd above our head ; 
And the thin Moon, newly nascent, 

Shone in glory meek and sweet, 
As Murillo paints her crescent 

Underneath Madonna's feet. 
And we sat outside the villa 



MAGDALENA, OR THE SPANISH DUEL. 467 

Where the waters flow 

Down to the city of Sevilla, — 

Years and years ago. 

Seated half within a bower, 

Where the languid evening breeze 

Shook out odours in a shower 

From oranges and citron-trees, 

Sang she from a romancero, 

How a Moorish chieftain bold 
Fought a Spanish caballero 

By Sevilla's walls of old ; 

How they battled for a lad} T , 

Fairest of the maids of Spain, — 
How the Christian's lance, so stead}', 

Pierced the Moslem through the brain. 

Then she ceased : her black eyes, moving, 
Flash'd, as ask'd she with a smile, — 

" Say, are maids as fair and loving, — 
Men as faithful, in your isle ? " 

" British maids," I said, " are ever 

Counted fairest of the fair ; 
Like the swans on yonder river 

Moving with a stately air : 

Woo'd not quickly, won not lightly, 

But, when won, forever true ; 
Trial draws the bond more tightly, 

Time can ne'er the knot undo." 

" And the men ? " — " Ah ! dearest lady, 

Are — quien sabe ? who can say ? 
To make love they're ever ready, 

Where they can and where they may ; 



468 CHOICE READINGS. 

Fix'd as waves, as breezes steady 

In a changeful April day. — 
Oomo brisas como rios, 

No se sabe, sabe DiosJ" 

4 ' Are they faithful ? " — " Ah ! quien sabe f 
Who can answer that they are ? 

While we may we should be happy." 
Then I took up her guitar, 

And I sang, in sportive strain, 

This song to an old air of Spain : 

Quien Sabe. 
u The breeze of the evening that cools the hot air, 
That kisses the orange and shakes out thy hair, 
Is its freshness less welcome, less sweet its perfume, 
That you know not the region from which it is come ? 
Whence the wind blows, where the wind goes, 
Hither and thither and whither — who knows ? 

Who knows? 
Hither and thither, ■ — but whither — who knows ? 

The river forever glides singing along, 

The rose on the bank bends down to its song ; 

And the flower, as it listens, unconsciously dips, 

Till the rising wave glistens and kisses its lips : 

But why the wave rises and kisses the rose, 

And why the rose stoops for those kisses — who knows ? 

Who knows ? 
And away flows the river, — but whither — who knows ? 

Let me be the breeze, love, that wanders along, 
The river that ever rejoices in song ; 
Be thou to my fancy the orange in bloom, 
The rose by the river that gives its perfume. 
Would the fruit be so golden, so fragrant the rose, 
If no breeze and no wave were to kiss them ? 
Who knows ? 



MAGDALENA, OK THE SPANISH DUEL. 469 

Who knows? 
If no breeze and no wave were to kiss them ? 
Who knows? " 

As I sang, the lady listen'd, 

Silent save one gentle sigh : 
When I ceased, a tear-drop glisten'd 

On the dark fringe of her eye. 

Up I sprang. What words were utter'd 

Bootless now to think or tell, — 
Tongues speak wild when hearts are flutter'd 

By the mighty master-spell. 

" Magdalena, dearest, hear me," 

Sigh'd I, as I seized her hand ; — 

" Hola ! Senior," very near me, 

Cries a voice of stern command. 

And a stalwart caballero 

Comes upon me with a stride, 
On his head a slouch'd sombrero, 

A toledo by his side. 

" Will your Worship have the goodness 
To release that lady's hand ? " — 

" Senior," I replied, " this rudeness 
I am not prepared to stand." 

Then the Spanish caballero 

Bow'd with haughty courtesy, 
Solemn as a tragic hero, 

And announced himself to me : 

" Senior, I am Don Camillo 
Guzman Miguel Pedrillo 
De Xymenes y Ribera 

Y Santallos y Herrera 

Y de Rivas y Mendoza 

Y Quintana y de Rosa 

Y Zorilla y " — li No more, sir ; 



470 CHOICE READINGS. 

'Tis as good as twenty score, sir," 
Said I to him, with a frown : 

" Mucha bulla para nada, 

No palabras, draw your 'spada ; 

If 3'ou're up for a duello 

You will find I'm just your fellow, — 
Senior, I am Peter Brown ! " 

By the river's bank that night, 

Foot to foot in strife, 
Fought we in the dubious light 

A fight of death or life. 
Don Camillo slash'd my shoulder ; 
With the pain I grew the bolder, 

Close and closer still I press'd : 
Fortune favour'd me at last ; 
I broke his guard, my weapon pass'd^. 

Through the caballero's breast : 
The man of many names went down, 
Pierced by the sword of Peter Brown ! 

Kneeling down, I raised his head : 

The caballero faintly said, 

" Senior Ingles, fly from Spain 

With all speed, for you have slain 

A Spanish noble, Don Camillo 

Guzman Miguel Pedrillo 

De Xymenes y Ribera 

Y Santallos y Herrera 

Y de Rivas y Mendoza 

Y Quintana y de Rosa 

Y Zorilla y " — He swoon'd 
With the bleeding from his wound. 
If he be living still, or dead, 

I never knew, I ne'er shall know. 
That night from Spain in haste I tied, 
Years and years ago. 



THE BELLS. 471 



XI. 

IMITATIVE METRICAL. 



THE BELLS. 

Edgar A. Poe. 

Hear the sledges with the bells, — silver bells ; 
What a world of merriment their melody foretells ! 
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, 

In the icy air of night ! 
While the stars, that oversprinkle 
All the heavens, seem to twinkle 

With a crystalline delight ; 
Keeping time, time, time, 
In a sort of Runic rhyme. 
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells 
From the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, — 
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells. 

Hear the mellow wedding-bells, — golden bells ! 
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells ! 
Through the balmy air of night 
How they ring out their delight ! 
From the molten-golden notes, 

And all in tune, 
What a liquid ditty floats 
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats 
On the moon ! 
O, from out the sounding cells, 
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells ! 
How it swells ! how it dwells 



472 CHOICE READINGS. 

On the Future ! how it tells 
Of the rapture that impels 
To the swinging and the ringing 
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, — 
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells ! 

Hear the loud alarum bells, — brazen bells ! 
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells ! 
In the startled ear of night 
How they scream out their affright ! 
Too much horrified to speak, 
They can only shriek, shriek, 
Out of tune, 
In a clamourous appealing to the mere}* of the fire, 
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire 
Leaping higher, higher, higher, 
With a desperate desire, 
And a resolute endeavour, 
Now — now to sit or never, 
By the side of the pale-faced Moon. 
O, the bells, bells, bells ! 
What a tale their terror tells 
Of despair ! 
How they clang, and clash, and roar ! 
What a horror they outpour 
On the bosom of the palpitating air ! 

Yet the ear, it fully knows, 
By the twanging and the clanging, 

How the danger ebbs and flows ; 
Yet the ear distinctly tells, 
In the jangling and the wrangling, 
How the danger sinks and swells, 
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells, - 

Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, — 
* In the clamour and the clangour of the bells ! 

Hear the tolling of the bells, — iron bells ! 

What a world of solemn thought their monody compels ! 



BUGLE SONG. 473 

In the silence of the night, 
How we shiver with affright 
At the melancholy menace of their tone ! 
For eveiy sound that floats 
From the rust within their throats 

Is a groan. 
And the people, — ah, the people, — 
The} r that dwell up in the steeple, 

All alone, 
And who tolling, tolling, tolling, 

In that muffled monotone, 
Feel a glory in so rolling 

On the human heart a stone ! 
The}* are neither man nor woman, — 
They are neither brute nor human, — 

They are Ghouls : 
And their king it is who tolls ; 
And he rolls, rolls, rolls, rolls, 

A paean from the bells ! 
And his merry bosom swells 

With the psean of the bells ! 
And he dances and he yells ; 
Keeping time, time, time, 
In a sort of Runic rhyme, 
To the tolling of the bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, — 
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells. 

BUGLE SONG. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

The splendour falls on castle walls 
And snowy summits old in story ; 
The long light shakes across the lakes, 
And the wild cataract leaps in glory. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying : 
Blow, bugle ; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying. 



474 CHOICE READINGS. 

O hark, O hear ! how thin and clear, 

And thinner, clearer, further going ; 
O sweet and far, from cliff and scar, 
The horns of Elfland faintly blowing ! 
Blow, let us hear the purple glens replaying : 
Blow, bugle ; answer echoes, dying, dying, dying. 

O love, they die in yon rich sky. 

The}' faint on hill or field or river : 
Our echoes roll from soul to soul, 
And grow forever and forever. 
Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying, 
And answer echoes, answer, dying, d}ing, dying. 



D^S^OC 



THE CHAKCOAL MAN. 

J. T. Trowbridge. 

Though rudely blows the wintry blast, 
And sifting snows fall white and fast, 
Mark Haley drives along the street, 
Perch'd high upon his wagon seat : 
His sombre face the storm defies, 
And thus from morn till eve he cries, — 

"Charco' ! charco' ! " 
While echo faint and far replies, — 

"Hark, O! hark, O ! " 
" Charco' !" — " Hark, ! " — Such cheery sounds 
Attend him on his daily rounds. 

The dust begrimes his ancient hat ; 
His coat is darker far than that : 
'Tis odd to see his sooty form 
All speckled with the feathery storm ; 
Yet in his honest bosom lies 
Nor spot nor speck, — though still he cries, — 
"Charco'! charco'!" 



THE CHARCOAL MAN. 475 

And many a roguish lad replies, — 

"Ark, ho! ark, ho!" 
" Charco' ! " — " Ark, ho ! " — Such various sounds 
Announce Mark Haley's morning rounds. 

Thus all the cold and wintry day 
He labours much for little pay ; 
Yet feels no less of happiness 
Than many a richer man, I guess, 
When through the shades of eve he spies 
The light of his own home, and cries, — 

" Charco' ! charco' !" 
And Martha from the door replies, — 

"Mark, ho! Mark, ho ! " 
" Charco' ! " — " Mark, ho ! — Such joy abounds 
When he has closed his daily rounds. 

The hearth is warm, the fire is bright ; 

And, while his hand, wash'd clean and white, 

Holds Martha's tender hand once more, 

His glowing face bends fondly o'er 

The crib wherein his darling lies ; 

And in a coaxing tone he cries, 

"Charco'! charco' !" 
And baby with a laugh replies, — 

"Ah, go! ah, go! " 
"Charco' ! " — "Ah, go ! " — while at the sounds 
The mother's heart with gladness bounds. 

Then honour'cl be the charcoal man ! 
Though dusky as an African, 
'Tis not for you, that chance to be 
A little better clad than he, 
His honest manhood to despise, 
Although from morn till eve he cries, — 
"Charco'! charco'!" 



476 CHOICE READINGS. 

While mocking echo still replies, — 

"Hark, 0! hark, O!" 
" Charco' ! " — " Hark, O ! " — Long may the sounds 
Proclaim Mark Haley's daily rounds ! 



CKEEDS OF THE BELLS. 

George W. Bungay. 

How sweet the chime of Sabbath bells ! 
Each one its creed in music tells, 
In tones that float upon the air, 
As soft as song, and pure as prayer ; 
And I will put in simple rhyme 
The language of the golden chime : 
My happy heart with rapture swells 
Eesponsive to the bells — sweet bells. 

" In deeds of love excel — excel," 
Chimed out from ivied towers a bell ; 
" This is the Church not built on sands, 
Emblem of one not built with hands : 
Its forms and sacred rites revere ; 
Come worship here — come worship here ; 
Its rituals and faith excel — excel," 
Chimed out th' Episcopalian bell. 

" O, heed the ancient landmarks well," 
In solemn tones exclaim'd a bell ; 
" No progress made by mortal man 
Can change the just, eternal plan : 
With God there can be nothing new ; 
Ignore the false, embrace the true 
While all is well — is well — is well," 
Peal'd out the good old Dutch Church bell. 

" O swell, ye purifying waters, swell," 
In mellow tones rang out a bell ; 



CREEDS OF THE BELLS. 477 

" Though faith alone in Christ can save, 
Man must be plunged beneath the wave. 
To show the world unfaltering faith 
In what the sacred Scripture saith : 
O swell, ye rising waters, swell." 
Peal'd out the clear-toned Baptist hell. 

" Not faith alone, but works as well, 
Must test the soul," said a soft bell ; 
" Come here, and cast aside your load, 
And work your way along the road, 
With faith in God. and faith in man, 
And hope in Christ, where hope began : 
Do well — do well — do well — do well," 
Peal'd forth the Unitarian bell. 

' ; Farewell! farewell! base world, farewell," 
In gloomy tones exclaim 'd a bell ; 
" Life is a boon to mortals given, 
To fit the soul for bliss in Heaven : 
Do not invoke the avenging rod : 
Come here, and learn the way to God : 
Say to the world farewell — farewell ! " 
Peal'd out the Presbyterian bell. 

1 ' In after life there is no Hell ! " 
In raptures rang a cheerful bell ; 
" Look up to Heaven this holy day, 
Where angels wait to lead the way ; 
There are no fires, no fiends, to blight 
The future life ; be just, do right : 
No Hell ! no Hell ! no Hell ! no Hell ! " 
Rang oat the Universalist bell. 

" To all the truth we tell — we tell," 
Shouted in ecstasies a bell ; 
" Come all ye weary wanderers, see ! 
Our Lord has made salvation free : 



478 CHOICE READINGS. 

Repent ! believe ! have faith ! and then 
Be saved, and praise the Lord. Amen. 
Salvation's free we tell — we tell," 
Shouted the Methodistic bell. 



>>®<c 



EVENING AT THE EAEM. 

J. T. Trowbridge. 

Over the hill the farm-boy goes : 
His shadow lengthens along the land, 
A giant staff in giant hand ; 
In the poplar-tree above the spring 
The katydid begins to sing ; 

The earl}' dews are falling : 
Into the stone-heap darts the mink, 
The swallows skim the river's brink, 
And home to the woodland fly the crows, 
When over the hill the farm-boy goes, 

Cheerily calling, — 

" Co', boss ! co', boss ! co' ! co' ! co' !" 
Further, farther over the hill, 
Faintly calling, calling still, — 

" Co', boss ! co', boss ! co' ! co' ! " 

Into the yard the farmer goes, 

With grateful heart, at the close of day : 

Harness and chain are hung away ; 

In the wagon-shed stand yoke and plough ; 

The straw's in the stack, the hay in the mow ; 

The cooling dews are falling : 
The friendl} 7 sheep his welcome bleat, 
The pigs come grunting to his feet, 
The whinnying mare her master knows, 
When into the yard the farmer goes, 

His cattle calling, — 

" Co', boss ! co', boss ! co' ! co' ! co' ! " 



KVKNJLBiG a: :-"Z 9ASML 

While still the cow-boy. far away. 
Goes seeking those that have gone astray. — 
"Co%boss! .■:'. boss! co' ! co'!" 

Now to her task the milkmaid goes ; 

The cattle come crowding through the gate, 

Lowing, poshing, little and great ; 

About the trough, by the farm-yard pump. 

The frolicsome yearlings frisk and jump. 

While the pleasant dews are falling : 
The new milch heifer is quick and shy. 
But the old cow waits with tranquil -' 
And the white stream into the bright pail flows, 
When to her task the milkmaid goes, 

Soothingly calling, — 

" So. boss ! so, boss ! so ! so ! so ! " 
The cheerful milkmaid takes her stool, 
And sits and milks in the twilight cool, 

- ying " S : . so, boss ! so ! so ! " 

T : -apper at last the farmer goes : 
The apples are pared, the paper read. 
The stories are told, then all to bed : 
Withont, the cricket's ceaseless song 

: es shrill the silence all night long ; 

The heavy dews are falling : 
The housewife's hand has turud the lock ; 
Drowsily ticks the kitchen clock ; 
The household sinks to deep repose ; 
Bat still in sleep the farm-boy goes 

"Co', boss boss! co"! co"!" 

And oft the milkmaid, in her dreams. 
Drums in the pail with the flashing streams, 
Murmuring. " So, boss ! so ! " 



480 CHOICE READINGS. 



THE LAST HYMN. 

Mrs. M. Farmingham. 

The Sabbath day was ending in a village by the sea, 

The utter'd benediction touch'd the people tenderly ; 

And they rose to face the sunset in the glowing, lighted west, 

And then hasten'd to their dwellings for God's blessed boon of rest. 

But they look'd across the waters, and a storm was raging there ; 

A fierce spirit moved about them, — the wild spirit of the air ; 

And it lash'd, and shook, and tore them, till they thunder'd, groan'd, 

and boom'd : 
And, alas ! for any vessel in their yawning gulfs entomb'd. 
Very anxious were the people on that rocky coast of Wales, 
Lest the dawns of coming morrows should be telling awful tales, 
When the sea had spent its passion, and should cast upon the shore 
Bits of wreck, and swollen victims, as it had done heretofore. 
With the rough winds blowing round her, a brave woman strain'd 

her eyes, 
As she saw along the billows a large vessel fall and rise. 
O ! it did not need a prophet to tell what the end must be, 
For no ship could ride in safety near that shore on such a sea. 

Then the pitying people hurried from their homes, and throng'd 

the beach. 
O, for power to cross the waters, and the perishing to reach ! 
Helpless hands were wrung in terror, tender hearts grew cold with 

dread, 
And the ship urged by the tempest to the fatal rock-shore sped. 
She has parted in the middle ! O, the half of her goes down ! 
God have mercy ! Is His Heaven far to seek, for those who drown ? 
Lo ! when next the white, shock'd faces look'd with terror on the 

sea, 
Only one last clinging figure on a spar was seen to be. 
Nearer to the trembling watchers came the wreck toss'd by the 

wave, 
And the man still clung and floated, though no power on Earth 

could save. 
" Could we send him a short message ? Here's a trumpet, shout 

away ! " 
'Twas the preacher's hand that took it, and he wonder'd what to 

say: 



THE LITTLE TELLTALE. 481 

Any memory of his sermon ? Firstly? Secondly? Ah, no ! 

There was but one thing to utter in that awful hour of woe. 

So he shouted through the trumpet, '-Look to Jesus! Can you 

hear?" 
And " Ay, ay, sir ! " rang the answer o'er the waters, loud and clear. 

Then they listen'd : " He is singing, ' Jesus, lover of my soul,' " 
And the winds brought back the echo, " While the nearer waters 

roll." 
Strange iDdeed it was to hear him, " Till the storm of life is past," 
Singing bravely o'er the waters, " O, receive my soul at last." 
He could have no other refuge, " Hangs my helpless soul on Thee." 
" Leave, O ! leave me not," — the singer dropp'd at last into the sea. 
And the watchers looking homeward, through their eyes by tears 

made dim, 
Said, " He pass'd to be with Jesus in the singing of that hymn." 



*•* 



THE LITTLE TELLTALE. 

Once, on a golden afternoon, 

With radiant faces and hearts in tune, 

Two fond lovers in dreaming mood 

Threaded a rural solitude. 
Wholly happy, they only knew 
That the earth was bright and the sky was blue ; 

That light and beauty and joy and song 

Charm 'd the way as they pass'd along : 
The air was fragrant with woodland scents ; 
The squirrel frisk' d on the roadside fence ; 

And hovering near them, " chee, chee, chink? 

Queried the curious bobolink, 
Pausing and peering with sidelong head, 
As saucily questioning all they said ; 

While the ox-eye danced on its slender stem. 

And all glad Xature rejoiced with them. 
Over the odorous fields were strown 
Wilting windrows of grass new-mown, 



482 CHOICE READINGS. 

And rosy billows of clover bloom 

Surged in the sunshine and breathed perfume. 

Swinging low on a slender limb, 

The sparrow warbled his wedding hymn ; 

And, balancing on a blackberry-brier, 
The bobolink sang with his heart on fire, — 

' ' Chink ! If you wish to kiss her, do ! 

Do it, do it ! You coward, } t ou ! 

Kiss her ! Kiss, kiss her ! Who will see ? 
Only we three ! we three ! we three ! " 

Under garlands of drooping vines, 

Through dim vistas of sweet-breathed pines, 
Past wide meadow-fields lately mow'd, 
Wander'd the indolent country road. 

The lovers follow'd it, listening still, 

And, loitering slowly, as lovers will, 

Enter'd a low-roof d bridge, that lay, 
Dusky and cool, in their pleasant way. 

Under its arch a smooth, brown stream 

Silently glided, with glint and gleam, 

Shaded by graceful elms that spread 
Their verdurous canopy overhead, — 

The stream so narrow, the boughs so wide, 

They met and mingled across the tide. 

Alders loved it, and seem'd to keep 
Patient watch as it lay asleep, 

Mirroring clearly the trees and sky 

And the flitting form of the dragon-fly, 

Save where the swift-wing'd swallow play'd 
In and out in the sun and shade, 

And, darting and circling in merry chase, 

Dipp'd, and dimpled its clear dark face. 

Fluttering lightly from brink to brink 

Follow'd the garrulous bobolink, 

Rallying loudly, with mirthful din, 
The pair who linger'd unseen within. 



ROBERT OF LINCOLN. 483 

And, when from the friendly bridge at last 

Into the road beyond they pass'd, 

Again beside them the tempter went, 
Keeping the thread of his argument, — 

" Kiss her ! kiss her ! chink-a-chee-chee ! 

I'll not mention it ! don't mind me ! 
I'll be sentinel, — I can see 
All around from this tall birch-tree ! " 

But, ah ! they noted — nor deemed it strange — 

In his rollicking chorus a trifling change : 

" Do it ! do it ! " with might and main 
Warbled the telltale, — " Do it again I" 



£*;< 



KOBEET OF LltfGOLE 

W. C. Bryant. 

Merrily swinging on brier and weed, 
Near to the nest of his little dame, 
Over the mountain-side or mead, 

Robert of Lincoln is telling his name : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Snug and safe is that nest of ours, 
Hidden among the summer flowers, 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Robert of Lincoln is gaily dress'd, 

Wearing a bright black wedding-coat ; 
White are his shoulders and white his crest. 
Hear him call his merry note : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Look, what a nice new coat is mine, 
Sure there never was a bird so fine. 
Chee, chee, chee. 



484 CHOICE READINGS. 

Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife, 

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings, 
Passing at home a patient life, 

Broods in the grass while her husband sings 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Brood, kind creature ; you need not fear 
Thieves and robbers while I am here. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Modest and shy as a nun is she, 

One weak chirp is her only note ; 
Braggart and prince of braggarts is he, 
Pouring boasts from his little throat : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Never was I afraid of man ; 
Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Six white eggs on a bed of hay, 

Fleck'd with purple, a prett}^ sight ! 
There as the mother sits all da} T , 

Robert is singing with alt his might : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Nice good wife, that never goes out, 
Keeping house while I frolic about. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Soon as the little ones chip the shell, 

Six wide mouths are open for food ; 
Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well, 
Gathering seed for "the hungry brood, 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink; 



11 ROCK OF AGES." 485 

This new life is likely to be 
Hard for a gay young fellow like me. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Robert of Lincoln at length is made 

Sober with work and silent with care ; 
Off is his holiday garment laid, 
Half forgotten that meny air : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
Nobody knows but my mate and I 
Where our nest and our nestlings lie. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

Summer wanes ; the children are grown ; 

Fun and frolic no more he knows ; 
Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone ; 
Off he flies, and we sing as he goes : 
Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link, 
Spink, spank, spink ; 
When you can pipe that meny old strain, 
Robert of Lincoln, come back again. 
Chee, chee, chee. 

"BOOK OF AGES." 

Prof. Edward H. Rice. 

" Rock of ages, cleft for me," 

Thoughtlessly the maiden sung : 
Fell the words unconsciously 

From her girlish, gleeful tongue, 
Sung as little children sing, 

Sung as sing the birds in June ; 
Fell the words like light leaves sown 

On the current of the tune, — 
" Rock of ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 



486 CHOICE READINGS. 

Felt her soul no need to hide ; 

Sweet the song as song could be, 
And she had no thought beside : 

All the words unheedingly 
Fell from lips untouch'd by care, 

Dreaming not that each might be 
On some other lips a prayer, — 
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 

u Rock of Ages, cleft for me," — 

'Twas a woman sung them now, 
Pleadingly and prayerfully ; 

Eveiy word her heart did know : 
Rose the song, as storm-toss'd bird 

Beats with weaiy wing the air, 
Everj^ note with sorrow stirr'd, 

Eveiy syllable a prayer, — 
" Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee." 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me," — 

Lips grown aged sung the Irymn 
Trustingly and tenderly, 

Voice grown weak and eyes grown dim, 
" Let me hide myself in Thee." 

Trembling through the voice, and low, 
Rose the sweet strain peacefully 

As a river in its flow ; 
Sung as only they can sing 

Who life's thorny paths have press'd ; 
Sung as only they can sing 

Who behold the promised rest. 

" Rock of Ages, cleft for me," 

Sung above a coffin-lid ; 
Underneath, all restfully 

All life's cares and sorrows hid. 



DRIFTING-. 487 



Never more. O storm-toss'd soul ! 

Never more from wind or tide, 
Never more from billow's roll, 

Wilt thou ueed thyself to hide. 
Could the sightless, suukeu eyes, 

Closed beneath the soft gray hair, 
Could the mute and stiffen'd lips, 

Move again in pleading praj'er, 
Still, ay, still the words would be, 
" Let me hide myself in Thee.'* 



*^< 



DBrFTDTG. 

T. Buchanan Read. 

My soul to-day is far away. 
Sailing the Vesuviau Bay ; 
My winged boat, a bird afloat, 
Swims round the purple peaks remote : 

Round purple peaks it sails, and seeks 
Blue inlets and their crystal creeks. 
Where high rocks throw, through deeps below, 
A duplicated golden glow. 

Far. vague, and dim the mountains swim ; 
While, on Vesuvius' mist}* brim, 
With outstretch' d hands the gray smoke stands 
O'erlooking the volcanic lands. 

In lofty lines, 'mid palms and pines, 
And olives, aloes, elms, and vines, 
Sorrento swings on sunset wings, 
Where Tasso's spirit soars and sings. 



488 CHOICE READINGS. 

Here Ischia smiles o'er liquid miles ; 
And yonder, bluest of the Isles, 
Calm Capri waits, her sapphire gates 
Beguiling to her bright estates. 

I heed not, if my rippling skiff 
Float swift or slow from cliff to cliff : 
With dreamful eyes my spirit lies 
Under the walls of Paradise. 

Under the walls, where swells and falls 
The Bay's deep breast at intervals, 
At peace I lie, blown softly by 
A cloud upon this liquid sky. 

The day, so mild, is Heaven's own child, 
With earth and ocean reconciled : 
The airs I feel around me steal 
Are murmuring to the murmuring keel : 

Over the rail my hand I trail 
Within the shadow of the sail ; 
A joy intense, the cooling sense, 
Glides down my drowsy indolence : 

With dreamful eyes my spirit lies 
Where Summer sings and never dies ; 
O'erveil'd with vines, she glows and shines 
Among her future oil and wines. 

Her children, hid the cliffs amid, 
Are gambolling with the gambolling kid ; 
Or down the walls, with tipsy calls, 
Laugh on the rocks like waterfalls. 

The fisher's child, with tresses wild, 
Unto the smooth, bright sand beguiled, 
With glowing lips sings as she skips, 
Or gazes at the far-off ships. 



DRIFTING. 489 



Yon deep bark goes where traffic blows, 
From lands of sun to lands of snows : 
This happier one, its course is run 
From lands of snow to lands of sun. 

O happy ship, to rise and dip, 
"With the blue crystal at your lip ! 
O happy crew, my heart with you 
Sails, and sails, and sings anew ! 

No more, no more the worldly shore 
Upbraids me with its loud uproar ! 
With dreamful eyes my spirit lies 
Under the walls of Paradise 1 



490 CHOICE READINGS. 



XII. 
FOR YOUNG FOLKS. 



ANNIE AND WILLIE'S PEAYER. 

Mrs. Sophia P. Snow. 

'Twas the eve before Christmas ; " Good night " had been said, 

And Annie and Willie had crept into bed : 

There were tears on their pillows, and tears in their eyes, 

And each little bosom was heaving with sighs, 

For to-night their stern father's command had been given 

That they should retire precisely at seven 

Instead of at eight ; for they troubled him more 

With questions unheard-of than ever before : 

He had told them he thought this delusion a sin ; 

No such being as Santa Claus ever had been, 

And he hoped, after this, he should never more hear 

How he scrambled down chimneys with presents, each year ; 

And this was the reason that two little heads 

So restlessly toss'd on their soft downy beds. 

Eight, nine, and the clock on the steeple toll'd ten, — 
Not a word had been spoken by either till then ; 
When Willie's sad face from the blanket did peep, 
And whisper d, " Dear Annie, is you fast asleep ? " 
" Why, no, brother Willie," a sweet voice replies, 
" I've tried it in vain, but I can't shut my eyes ; 
For, somehow, it makes me so sorry because 
Dear papa has said there is no Santa Claus. 
Now we know that there is, and it can't be denied, 
For he came every year before mamma died : 
But then I've been thinking that she used to pray, 
And God would hear every thing mamma would say; 
And perhaps she ask'd him to send Santa Claus here, 
With the sacks full of presents he brought every year.*' 



ANNIE AND WILLIE'S PRAYER. 491 

"Well, why tant we pay dest as mamma did then, 

And ask Him to send him with presents aden ? " 

" I've been thinking so, too ; " and, without a word more, 

Four little bare feet bounded out. on the floor, 

And four little knees the soft carpet press'd, 

And two tiny hands were clasp'd close to each breast. 

" Now, Willie, you know we must firmly believe 

That the presents we ask for we're sure to receive : 

You must wait just as still till I say the i Amen,' 

And by that you will know that your turn has come then. 

Dear Jesus, look down on my brother and me, 

And grant us the favour we are asking of Thee : 

I want a wax dolly, a tea-set and ring, 

And an ebony work-box that shuts with a spring. 

Bless papa, dear Jesus, and cause him to see 

That Santa Claus loves us far better than he: 

Don't let him get fretful and angry again, 

At dear brother Willie, and Annie, Amen ! " 

" Peas Desus 'et Santa Taus turn down to-night, 

And bing us some pesents before it is 'ight : 

I want he should div me a nice ittle sed, 

With bight, shiny miners, and all painted yed ; 

A box full of tandy, a book and a toy, — 

Amen, — and then, Desus, I'll be a dood boy/' 

Their prayers being ended, they raised up their heads, 
And with hearts light and cheerful again sought their beds ; 
They were soon lost in slumber both peaceful and deep, 
And with fairies in dreamland were roaming in sleep. 

Eight, nine, and the little French clock had struck ten, 
Ere the father had thought of his children again : 
He seems now to hear Annie's half-suppress'd sighs, 
And to see the big tears stand in Willie's blue eyes : 
" I was harsh with my darlings," he mentally said, 
" And should not have sent them so early to bed; 
But then I was troubled, — my feelings found vent, 
For bank stock to-day has gone down ten per cent. : 
But of course they've forgotten their troubles ere this, 
And that I denied them the thrice-ask'd-f or kiss ; 
But just to make sure I'll steal up to their door, 
For I never spoke harsh to my darlings before." 



492 CHOICE READINGS. 

So saying, he softly ascended the stairs, 

And arrived at the door to hear both of their prayers. 

His Annie's " bless papa " draws forth the big tears, 

And Willie's grave promise falls sweet on his ears. 

" Strange, strange I'd forgotten," said he with a sigh, 

" How I long'd when a child to have Christmas draw nigh 

I'll atone for my harshness," he inwardly said, 

" By answering their prayers, ere I sleep in my bed." 

Then he turn'd to the stairs, and softly went down, 

Threw off velvet slippers and silk dressing-gown ; 

Donn'd hat, coat, and boots, and was out in the street, 

A millionaire facing the cold driving sleet ; 

Nor stopp'd he until he had bought every thing, 

From the box full of candy to the tiny gold ring. 

Indeed he kept adding so much to his store, 

That the various presents outnumber'd a score ; 

Then homeward he turn'd with his holiday load, 

And with Aunt Mary's aid in the nursery 'twas stow'd. 

Miss Dolly was seated beneath a pine tree, 

By the side of a table spread out for a tea ; 

A work-box well fill'd in the centre was laid, 

And on it the ring for which Annie had pray'd ; 

A soldier in uniform stood by a sled, 

With bright shining runners, and all painted red ; 

There were balls, dogs and horses, books pleasing to see, 

And birds of all colours were perch'd in the tree, 

While Santa Claus laughing stood up in the top, 

As if getting ready more presents to drop. 

And, as the fond father the picture survey'd, 

He thought, for his trouble he had amply been paid ; 

And he said to himself as he brush'd off a tear, 

"I'm happier to-night than I've been for a year; 

I've enjoy'd more true pleasure than ever before, — 

What care I if bank stocks fall ten per cent, more? 

Hereafter I'll make it a rule, I belifeve, 

To have Santa Claus visit us each Christmas-eve." 

So thinking he gently extinguish'd the light, 

And tripp'd down the stairs to retire for the night. 

As soon as the beams of the bright morning Sun 
Put the darkness to flight, and the stars, one by one, 



THE DEAD DOLL. 493 

Four little blue eyes out of sleep open'd wide, 
And at the same moment the presents espied ; 
Then out of their beds they sprang with a bound, 
And the very gifts pray'd for were all of them found : 
They laugh'd and they cried in their innocent glee, 
And shouted for " papa " to come quick and see 
What presents old Santa Glaus brought in the night, 
(Just the things that they wanted,) and left before light : 
" And now," added Annie, in a voice soft and low, 
" You'll believe there's a Santa Glaus, papa, I know " ; 
While dear little Willie climb'd up on his knee, 
Determined no secret between them should be, 
And told in soft whispers how Annie had said, 
That their blessed mamma, so long ago dead, 
Used to kneel down and pray by the side of her chair, 
And that God, up in Heaven, had answer'd her prayer ! 
" Then we dot up, and pay'd dust as well as we tould, 
And Dod answer'd our payers ; now wasn't he dood?" 
" I should say that He was if He sent you all these, 
And knew just what presents my children would please : 
Well, well, let him think so, the dear little elf ; 
'Twould be cruel to tell him I did it myself." 

Blind father ! who caused your proud heart to relent, 
And the hasty word spoken so soon to repent ? 
'Twas the Being who made you steal softly up stairs, 
And made you His agent to answer their prayers. 



THE DEAD DOLL. 

Margaret Vandegrift. 

You needn't be trying to comfort me : I tell you my dolly is dead ! 
There's no use in saying she isn't, with a crack like that in her 

head ! 
It's just like you said it wouldn't hurt much to have my tooth out 

that day ; 
And then, when the man most pull'd my head off, you hadn't a 

word to sav. 



494 CHOICE READINGS. 

And I guess you must think I'm a baby, when you say you can 

mend it with glue ! 
As if I didn't know better than that ! Why, just suppose it was 

you! 
You might make her look all mended ; but what do I care for looks V 
Why, glue's for chairs and tables and toys, and the backs of books ! 

My dolly ! my own little daughter ! O, but it's the awf ulest crack ! 
It just makes me sick to think of the sound when her poor head 

went whack 
Against that horrible brass thing that holds up the little shelf! 
Now, nursey, what makes you remind me ? I know that I did it 

myself ! 

I think you must be crazy ! You'll get her another head ! 
What good would forty heads do her? I tell you my dolly is dead ! 
And to think I hadn't quite finish'd her elegant new spring hat ! 
And I took a sweet ribbon of hers last night to tie on that horrid 
cat! 

When my mamma gave me that ribbon, — I was playing out in the 

yard, — 
She said to me most expressly, " Here's a ribbon for Hildegarde." 
And I went and put it on Tabbj^, and Hildegarde saw me do it ; 
But I said to myself, " O, never mind ; I don't believe she knew it." 

But I know that she knew it now ; and I just believe, I do, 
That her poor little heart was broken, and so her head broke too. 
O, my baby ! my little baby ! I wish my head had been hit ! 
For I've hit it over and over, and it hasn't crack'd a bit ! 

But, since the darling is dead, she'll want to be buried, of course. 
We will take my little wagon, nurse ; and you shall be the horse ; 
And I'll walk behind, and cry ; and we'll put her in this, you see, — 
This dear little box, — and we'll bury her then under the maple^ 
tree. 

And papa will make me a tombstone like the one he made for my 

bird ; 
And he'll put what I tell him on it ; yes, every single word. 
I shall say, " Here lies Hildegarde, a beautiful doll, who is dead ; 
She died of a broken heart, and a dreadful crack in her head." 



AN EVENING WITH HELEN'S BABIES. 495 

AH EVENINGS WITH HELEN'S BABIES. 

J. Habberton. 

With a head full of pleasing fancies, I went down to sup- 
per. My new friends, Helen's babies, were unusually good. 
There were two of them. Budge, the elder, was five years 
of age, and Toddie had seen but three Summers. Their ride 
seemed to have toned down their boisterousuess and elevated 
their little souls ; their appetites exhibited no diminution of 
force ; but they talked but little, and all that they said was 
smart, funny, or startling, — so much so that when, after 
supper, they invited me to put them to bed, I gladly 
accepted the invitation. Toddie disappeared somewhere, 
and came back Aery disconsolate. 

" Can't 'find my dolly's k'adle," he whined. 

" Never mind, old pet," said I, soothingly. " Uncle will 
ride you on his foot." 

" But I want my dolly's k'adle," said he, piteously rolling 
out his lower lip. 

1 remembered my experience when Toddie wanted to " shee 
wheels go wound," and I trembled. 

"Toddie," said I, in a tone so persuasive that it would 
be worth thousands a-year to me, as a salesman, if I could 
only command it at will; "Toddie, don't you want to ride 
on uncle's back? " 

" No ; want my dolly's k'adle." 

" Don't you want me to tell you a story?" 

For a moment Toddie's face indicated a terrible internal 
conflict between old Adam and mother Eve, but curiosit}^ 
finally overpowered natural depravity, and Toddie mur- 
mured, — 

" Yesh." 

" What shall I tell you about? " 

" 'Bout Nawndeark." 

"About what?" 

" He means Noah an' the ark," exclaimed Budge. 

" Datsh what J shay, — Nawndeark," declared Toddie. 



496 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Well," said I, hastily refreshing m} r memory by picking 
up the Bible, — for Helen, like most people, is pretty sure 
to forget to pack her Bible when she runs away from home 
for a few days, — "well, once it rained forty days and 
nights, and every bod} 7 was drowned from the face of the 
Earth excepting Noah, a righteous man who was saved witli 
all his family, in an ark which the Lord commanded him to 
build." 

;t Uncle Harry," said Budge, after contemplating me with 
open eyes, and mouth for at least two minutes after I had 
finished, " do you think that's Noah?" 

" Certainly, Budge ; here's the whole story in the Bible." 

"Well, i" don't think it's Noah one single bit," said he, 
with increasing emphasis. 

"I'm beginning to think we read different Bibles, Budge; 
but let's hear your version." 

''Huh?" 

" Tell me about Noah, if you know so much about him." 

" I will, if you want me to. Once the Lord felt so uncom- 
fortable cos folks was bad that he was sorry he ever made 
anj'body, or an}' world, or any thing. But Noah wasn't bad ; 
the Lord liked him first-rate ; so he told Noah to build a big 
ark, and then the Lord would make it rain so everybody 
should be drownded but Noah an' his little boys an' girls, 
an' doggies an' pussies, an' mamma-cows, an' little-boy- 
cows an' little-girl-cows, an' bosses, an' every thing ; they'd 
go in the ark, an' wouldn't get wetted a bit when it rained. 
An' Noah took lots of things to eat in the ark; cookies, an' 
milk, an' oatmeal, an' strawberries, an' porgies, an' — O, 
yes — an' plum-puddins, an' pumpkin-pies. But Noah 
didn't want everybody to get drownded, so he talked to folks, 
an' said, ; It's goin to rain awful pretty soon ; you'd better 
be good, an' then the Lord'll let you come into nry ark.' 
An' they jus' said, 'O, if it rains we'll go in the house till it 
stops ; an' other folks said, k We ain't afraid of rain ; we've 
got an umbrella.' An' some more said, they wasn't goin' to 
be afraid of just a rain. But it did rain though, an' folks 



KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GREY. 497 

went in their houses, an' the water came in, an' they went 
up stairs, an' the water came up there, an' they got on the 
tops of the houses, an' up in big trees, an' up in mountains, 
an' the water went 'after 'em everywhere an' drownded 
everybody, only just except Noah and the people in the ark. 
An' it rained forty days an' nights, an' then it stopped ; an' 
Noah got out of the ark, an' he an' his little boys an' 
girls went wherever they wanted to, and every thing in the 
world was all theirs ; there wasn't anybody to tell 'em to go 
home, nor no Kindergarten schools to go to, nor no bad 
boys to fight 'em, nor nothin'. Now tell us 'nother story." 



>>ȣ 



KATIE LEE AND WILLIE GEEY. 

Miss Joste R. Hunt. 

Two brown heads with tossing curls, 
Red lips shutting over pearls. 
Bare feet, white and wet with dew, 
Two eye*s black, and two eyes blue ; 
Little girl and boy were they, 
Katie Lee and Willie Grey. 

They were standing where a brook, 
Bending like a shepherd's crook, 
Flash'd its silver, and thick ranks 
Of willow fringed its mossy banks ; 
Half in thought, and half in play, 
Katie Lee and Willie Grey. 

They had cheeks like cherries red ; 
He was taller, — 'most a head ; 
She, with arms like wreaths of snow, 
Swung a basket to and fro 
As she loiter'd, half in play, 
Chattering to Willie Grey. 



498 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Pretty Katie," Willie said, — 
And there came a dash of red 
Through the browrmess of his cheek, - 
" Boys are strong and girls are weak, 
And I'll carry, so I will, 
Katie's basket up the hill." 

Katie answer' d with a laugh, 
" You shall carry only half " ; 
And then, tossing back her curls, 
" Boys are weak as well as girls." 
Do you think that Katie guess'd 
Half the wisdom she express'd ? 

Men are only boys grown tall ; 
Hearts don't change much after all ; 
And when, long years from that day, 
Katie Lee and Willie Grey 
Stood again beside the brook, 
Bending like a shepherd's crook, — 

Is it strange that Willie said, 
While again a dash of red 
Cross'd the brownness of his cheek, 
' ' I am strong and you are weak ; 
Life is but a slippery steep, 
Hung with shadows cold and deep. 

Will you trust me, Katie dear, — 
Walk beside me without fear? 
May I carry, if I will, 
All your burdens up the hill ? " 
And she answer'd with a laugh, 
" No, but you may carry half." 

Close beside the little brook, 
Bending like a shepherd's crook, 
Washing witli its silver hands 



KEEPING HIS WORD. 

Late and early at the sand?. 
I- a : : ttage, where to-day 
Katie lives with Willie Grey. 

In a porch she sits. and. lo ! 
Swings a basket to and fro. — 
Vastly different from the one 
That she swung in years agone ; 
Tltis is long and deep and wide. 
And has — x .'.-: - : : the side. 



-- -.-i-;: --~- 



KEEPIXG HIS 7T0ED. 

" Only a penny a box."' he said : 
But the gentleman turn'd away his head. 
As if he shrank from the squalid, sight 
Of the boy who stood in the failing light. 

•• ( "> sir ! '" he stammer'd. " you cannot know.'' 
(And he brush" d from his matches the flakes of snow. 
That the sudden tear might have chance to fall.) 
•• Or 1 think, — I think you would take them all. 

Hungry and cold at our garret-pane, 
Ruby will watch till I come again. 
Bringing the loaf. The Sun has set, 
And he hasn't a crumb of breakfast yet. 

One penny, and then I can buy the brea 
The gentleman stopp'd : " And you? *' he said : 
" I — I can put up with them. — hunger and cold. 
But Ruby is only five years old. 

I promised our mother before she went. — 
She knew I Mould do it. and died content. — 
I promised her. sir. through best, through worst, 
I always would think of Ruby first." 



500 CHOICE READINGS. 

The gentleman paused at his open door, 
Such tales he had often heard before ; 
But he fumbled his purse in the twilight drear, 
" I have nothing less than a shilling here." 

" O sir ! if 3'Ou'll only take the pack 
I'll bring you the change in a moment back ; 
Indeed you ma} T trust me l" " Trust you ? — no ! 
But here is the shilling; take it and go." 

The gentleman loll'd in his cozy chair, 
And watch'd his cigar-wreath melt in air, 
And smiled on his children, and rose to see 
The baby asleep on its mother's knee. 

" And now it is nine b} T the clock," he said, 

" Time that nry darlings were all a-bed ; 

Kiss me ' good-night,' and each be sure, 

When you're saying your prayers, remember the poor." 

Just then came a message, — "A boy at the door," — 
But ere it was utter'd he stood on the floor 
Half-breathless, bewilder'd, and ragged and strange ; 
" I'm Rub} T , — Mike's brother, — I've brought you the change. 

Mike's hurt, sir ; 'twas dark ; the snow made him blind, 
And he didn't take notice the train was behind 
Till he slipp'd on the track ; and then it whizz'd by : 
And he's home in the garret ; I think he will die. 

Yet nothing would do him, sir, — nothing would do, 
But out through the snow I must hurry to you : 
Of his hurt he was certain you wouldn't have heard, 
And so you might think he had broken his word." 

When the garret they hastily enter'd, they saw 
Two arms mangled, shapeless, outstretch'd from the straw. 
'' You did it, — dear Ruby, — God bless you ! " he said, 
And the boy, gladly smiling, sank back, — and was dead. 



A LEAP FOB LIFE. 

A LEAP FOE LITE. 

Old Ebohsides at jor lay 

In the harbour of Mahon ; 
A lead calm rested on the bay. — 

The waves to -"rep had gone; 
When little Hal. the Captain's son, 

A lad both brave and good. 
L s( :-rt ap shroud and rigging ran. 

And on the main truck stood ! 

A shudder shot through every vein, 

All r - ;re tunrd on high ! 
There stood the boy, with dizzy brain. 

Between the sea and sky ; 
Xo hold had he above, below j 

Alone he stood in air : 
To that far height none dared to go, 

No aid could reach him th-r. 

TTe gaze 1, at not a man could speak! 

TTith horror all aghas: : 
in _ s, irith pallid brow and check. 

We watclrd the quivering mast : 
The atmosphere grew thick and hot, 

And of a lurid hue : — 
As riveted unto the spot, 

Stood officers and crew. 

The father came on deck : he gasp'd, 

•■ O, God '. thy will be done ! " 
Then suddenly a rifle grasr 

And aim'd it at his son. 
•■ Jump, far out. boy, into the wave ! 

Jump, or I fire." he said. 
" That only chance your life can save : 

Jump. jump, boy '. ' ? He _ 






502 CHOICE READINGS. 

He sunk, — he rose, — he lived, — he moved, 

And for the ship struck out : 
On board we hail'd the lad beloved, 

With many a manly shout. 
His father drew, in silent joy, 

Those wet arms round his neck, 
And folded to his heart his boy, 

Then fainted on the deck. 



LITTLE KOCKET'S CHRISTMAS. 

Vandyke Brown. 

I'll tell you how the Christmas came 
To Rocket ; — no, you never met him, 

That is, you never knew his name, 
Although 'tis possible you've let him 

Display his skill upon your shoes ; 

A bootblack, — Arab, if you choose. 

Has inspiration dropp'd to zero 

When such material makes a hero? 

And who w T as Rocket? Well, an urchin, 
A gamin, dirty, torn, and tatter'd, 
hose chiefest pleasure was to perch in 
The Bowery gallery ; there it matter'd 

But little what the play might be, — 

Broad farce or point-lace comedy, — 

He meted out his just applause 

By rigid, fix'd, and proper laws. 

A father once he had, no doubt, 

A mother on the Island staying, 
Which left him free to knock about, 

And gratify a taste for straying 
Through crowded streets. 'Twas there he found 
Companionship and grew renown 'd. 



f^W 



LITTLE ROCKET'S CHRISTMAS. 503 

An ash-box served him for a bed, — 
As good, at least, as Moses' rushes ; 

And, for his daily meat and bread, 

He earn'd them with his box and brushes. 

An Arab of the city's slums, 

With read}' tongue and empty pocket, 

Unaided left to solve life's sums, 

But plucky always, — that was Rocket ! 

'Twas Christmas-eve, and all the clay 

The snow had fallen fine and fast ; 
In banks and drifted heaps it lay 

Along the streets. A piercing blast 
Blew cuttingly. The storm was past, 
And now the stars look'd coldly down 
Upon the snow-enshrouded town. 
Ah, well it is if Christmas brings 
Good-will and peace which poet sings ! 
How full are all the streets to-night 
With happy faces, flush' d and bright ! 
The matron in her silks and furs, 

The pompous banker, fat and sleek, 
The idle, well-fed loiterers, 

The merchant trim, the churchman meek, 
Forgetful now of hate and spite, 
For all the world is glad to-night ! 
All, did I sa}'? Ah, no, not all, 
For sorrow throws on some its pall ; 
And here, within the broad, fair city, 

The Christmas-time no beauty brings 
To those who plead in vain for pity, 

To those who cherish but the stints 
Of wretchedness and want and woe, 
Who never love's great bounty know ; 
Whose grief no kindly hands assuage, 
Whose misery mocks our Christian age. 



504 CHOICE READINGS. 

Pray ask yourself what means to them 
That Christ is born in Bethlehem ! 

But Eocket? On this Christmas-eve 

You might have seen him standing where 
The city's streets so interweave 

They form that somewhat famous square 
Called Printing-Honse. His face was bright, 

And at this gala, festive season 
You could not find a heart more light, — 

I'll tell you in a word the reason : 
By dint of patient toil in shining 

Patrician shoes and Wall-street boots, 
He had within his jacket's lining 

A dollar and a half, — the fruits 
Of pinching, saving, and a trial 
Of really Spartan self-denial. 

That dollar and a half was more 
Than Rocket ever own'd before : 
A princely fortune, so he thought, 

And with those hoarded dimes and nickels 
What Christmas pleasures may be bought ! 

A dollar and a half ! It tickles 
The boy to say it over, musing 
Upon the money's proper using : 
" I'll go a gobbler, leg and breast, 

With cranberry-sauce and fixin's nice, 
And pie, mince pie, the very best, 

And puddin', — say a double slice ! 
And then to doughnuts how I'll freeze ; 
With coffee, — guess that ere's the cheese ! 
And after grub I'll go to see 
The ' Seven Goblins of Dundee.' 
If this 3 T ere Christmas ain't a buster, 
I'll let yer rip my Sunday duster ! " 



LITTLE ROCKET'S CHRISTMAS. 505 

So Rocket mused as he hurried along, 

Clutching his money with grasp yet tighter, 
And humming the air of a rollicking song, 

With a heart as light as his clothes, — or lighter. 
Through Centre-street he makes his way, 

When, just as he turns the corner at Pearl, 
He hears a voice ciw out in dismay, 

And sees before him a slender girl, 
As ragged and tatter'cl in dress as he, 

With hand stretch'd forth for charity. 

In the street-lio-ht's fitful and flickering alare 

He caught a glimpse of the pale, pinch'd face, 
So gaunt and wasted, } T et strangely fair, 

With a lingering touch of childhood's grace 
On her delicate features. Her head was bare, 

And over her shoulders disorder'd there hung 
A mass of tangled, nut-brown hair. 

In miseiy old as in 3-ears she was young, 
She gazed in his face ; and, O ! for the eyes, — 
The big, blue, sorrowful, hungiy eyes, — 

That were fix'd in a desperate frighten'd stare. 

Hundreds have jostled her by to-night, — 

The rich, the great, the good, and the wise ; 
Hurrying on to the warmth and light 
Of happ}' homes, they have jostled her b}~ ; 
And the only one who has heard her cry, 
Or, hearing, has felt his heartstrings stirr'd, 

Is Rocket, — this } T oungster of coarser clay, 
This gamin, who never so much as heard 
The beautiful story of Him who lay 
In the manger of old on Christmas-day ! 

With artless pathos and simple speech, 
She stands and tells him her pitiful tale ; 

Ah, well if those who pray and preach 
Could catch an echo of that sad wail ! 



506 CHOICE READINGS. 

She tells of the terrible battle for bread. 
Tells of a father brutal with crime, 

Tells of a mother lying dead, 
At this the gala Christmas- time ; 

Then adds, gazing up at the starlit sky, 

" I'm hungry and cold, and I wish I could die, 

What is it trickles down the cheek 

Of Rocket ? can it be a tear ? 
He stands and stares, but does not speak ; 

He thinks again of that good cheer 
Which Christmas was to bring ; he sees 

Visions of turkey, steaming pies, 
The play-bills ; then, in place of these, 

The girl's beseeching, hungry eyes : 
One mighty effort, gulping down 

The disappointment in his breast, 
A quivering of the lip, a frown, 

And then, while pity pleads her best, 
He snatches forth his cherish'd hoard, 
And gives it to her like a lord ! 

" Here, freeze to that ; I'm flush, yer see ; 
And then you needs it more 'an me!" 
With that he turns and walks away 
So fast the girl can nothing say, 
So fast he does not hear the pra} r er 
That sanctifies the Winter air : 
But He who bless'd the widow's mite 
Look'd down and smiled upon the sight. 

No feast of steaming pies or turkey, 

No ticket for the matinee ; 
All drear and desolate and murky, 

In truth, a very dismal day. 
With dinner on a crust of bread, 

And not a penny in his pocket, 



papa's letter. 507 

A friendly ash-box for a bed, — 

Thus came the Christmas-day to Rocket ; 

And yet, — and here's the strangest thing, — 
As best befits the festive season, 

The boy was happy as a king, — 
I wonder can you guess the reason ? 



>^.c 



PAPA'S LETTEK. 

I was sitting in my study, 

Writing letters, when I heard, 

"Please, dear mamma, Mary told me 
Mamma mustn't be 'isturb'd. 

But I'se tired of the kitty, 
Want some ozzer fing to do. 

Witing letters, is 'ou, mamma? 
Tan't I wite a letter too?" 

" Not now, darling, mamma's busy ; 

Run and pla} T with kitty, now." 
" No, no, mamma j me wite letter ; 

Tan if 'ou will show me how." 

I would paint nry darling's portrait 
As his sweet eyes search' d my face, 

Hair of gold and eyes of azure, 
Form of childish, witching grace. 

But the eager face was clouded, 
As I slowly shook my head, 

Till I said, " I'll make a letter 
Of you, darling boy, instead." 

So I parted back the tresses 

From his forehead high and white, 

And a stamp in sport I pasted 
'Mid its waves of golden light. 



508 CHOICK READINGS. 

Then I said, " Now, little letter, 
Go away and bear good news." 

And I smiled as down the staircase 
Clatter' d loud the little shoes. 

Leaving me, the darling hurried 
Down to Mary in his glee, 

" Mamma's witing lots of letters ; 
" I'se a letter, Mary, — see ! " 

No one heard the little prattle, 
As once more he climb'd the stair, 

Reach'd his little cap and tippet, 
Standing on the entry stair. 

No one heard the front door open, 
No one saw the golden hair, 

As it floated o'er his shoulders 
In the crisp October air. 

Down the street the baby hasten'd 
Till he reach'd the office door : 

" I'se a letter, Mr. Postman ; 
Is there room for any more ? 

'Cause dis letter's doin' to papa, 
Papa lives with God, 'on know ; 

Mamma sent me for a letter ; 
Does 'ou fink 'at I tan go ? " 

But the clerk in wonder answer'd, 
" Not to-day, my little man." 

" Den I'll find anozzer office, 
'Cause I must do if I tan." 

Fain the clerk would have detain'd him, 
But the pleading face was gone, 

And the little feet were hastening, — 
By the busy crowd swept ou. 



IN SCHOOL DAYS. 509 

Suddenly the crowd was parted, 

People fled to left and right, 
As a pair of madden'd horses 

At the moment dash'd in sight. 

No one saw the baby-figure, 

No one saw the golden hair, 
Till a voice of frighten'd sweetness 

Rang out on the autumn air. 

Twas too late, — a moment only 
Stood the beauteous vision there ; 

Then the little face lay lifeless, 
Cover d o'er with golden hair. 

Reverently the} T raised my darling, 

Brush'd away the curls of gold, 
Saw the stamp upon the forehead, 

Growing now so \cy cold. 

Not a mark the face disfigured, 

Showing where a hoof had trod ; 
But the little life was ended, — 

" Papa's letter " was with God. 



>>@<c 



U SCHOOL DATS. 

J. G. Whittier. 

Still sits the school-house by the road, 

A ragged beggar sunning ; 
Around it still the sumachs grow, 

And blackberry vines are running. 

Within, the master's desk is seen, 
Deep scarr'd by raps official ; 

The warping floor, the batter'd seats, 
The jack-knife's carved initial ; 



510 CHOICE READINGS. 

The charcoal frescoes on its wall ; 

Its door's worn sill, betraying 
The feet that, creeping slow to school, 

Went storming out to playing. 

Long years ago, a winter Sun 

Shone over it at setting, 
Lit up its western window-panes, 

And low eaves' icy fretting. 

It touch' d the tangled golden curls, 
And brown eyes, full of grieving, 

Of one who still her steps delay'd 
When all the school were leaving. 

For near her stood the little boy 
Her childish favour singled, 

His cap pull'd low upon a face 

Where pride and shame were mingled. 

Pushing with restless feet the snow 
To right and left, he linger'd ; 

As restlessly her tiny hands 

The blue-check'd apron finger'd. 

He saw her lift her e}'es ; he felt 
The soft hands' light caressing, 

And heard the tremble of her voice, 
As if a fault confessing, — 

" I'm soriy that I spelt the word : 

I hate to go above you, 
Because," — the brown eyes lower fell, - 

" Because, you see, I love you ! " 

Still memory to a gra3'-hair'd man 
That sweet child-face is showing, 

Dear girl ! the grasses on her grave 
Have forty years been growing. 



somebody's mother. 511 

He lives to learn in life's hard school, 

How few who pass above him 
Lament their triumph and his loss, 

Like her, — because they love him. 



>X*c 



SOMEBODY'S MOTHEE. 

The woman was old and ragged and gray, 
And bent with the chill of the Winter's day; 
The street was wet with a recent snow, 
And the woman's feet were aged and slow. 

She stood at the crossing, and waited long, 
Alone, uncared-for, amid the throng 
Of human beings who pass'd her by, 
Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye. 

Down the street, with laughter and shout, 
Glad in the freedom of t4 school let out," 
Came the boys like a flock of sheep, 
Hailing the snow piled white and deep. 

Past the woman so old and gray 
Hasten' d the children on their way, 
Nor offer'd a helping hand to her, — 
So meek, so timid, afraid to stir, 

Lest the carriage-wheels or the horses' feet 
Should crowd her down in the slippery street. 
At last came one of the merry troop, — 
The gayest laddie of all the group ; 

He paused beside her, and whisper'd low, 
"I'll help you across if you wish to go." 
Her aaed hand on his strong vouns arm 
She placed, and so, without hurt or harm, 



512 CHOICE READINGS. 

He guided the trembling feet along, 
Proud that his own were firm and strong : 
Then back again to his friends he went, 
His 3'oung heart happy and well content. 

" She's somebody's mother, boys, you know, 
For all she's aged and poor and slow ; 
And I hope some fellow will lend a hand 
To help my mother, you understand, 

If ever she's poor and old and gray, 

When her own dear boy is far away." 

And " somebody's mother" bow'd low her head 

In her home that night, and the prayer she said 

Was, " God, be kind to the noble boy, 

Who is somebody's son and pride and joy ! " 



5>@<OC 



TO WHOM SHALL WE GIVE THANKS? 

A little boy had sought the pump 

From whence the sparkling water burst, 
And drank with eager joy the draught 

That kindl}* quench'd his raging thirst : 
Then gracefully he touch'd his cap, — 

" I thank you, Mr. Pump," he said, 
" For this nice drink you've given me ! " 

(This little boy had been well bred.) 

Then said the Pump, " My little man, 

You're welcome to what I have done ; 
But I am not the one to thank, — 

I only help the water run." 
" O, then," the little fellow said, 

(Polite he always meant to be,) 
" Cold Water, please accept my thanks ; 

You have been very kind to me." 



TO WHOM SHALL WE GIVE THANKS ? 513 

"Ah! " said Cold Water, " don't thank me ; 

Far up the hill-side lives the Spring 
That sends me forth with generous hand 

To gladden ever}- living thing." 
" I'll thank the Spring, then," said the boy, 

And gracefully he bow'd his head. 
" O. don't thank me, nry little man," 

The Spring with silvery accents said, — 

" O, don't thank me ; for what am I 

Without the dew and summer rain ? 
Without their aid I ne'er could quench 

Your thirst, my little boy, again." 
"O, well, then," said the little boy, 

" I'll gladly thank the Rain and Dew." 
" Pray, don't thank us ; without the Sun 

We could not fill one cup for 3~ou." 

" Then, Mr. Sun, ten thousand thanks 

For all that you have done for me." 
" Stop ! " said the Sun, with blushing face ; 

" My little fellow, don't thank me : 
'Twas from the ocean's mighty stores 

I drew the draught I gave to thee." 
" O, Ocean, thanks, then ! " said the boy ; 

It echo'd back, ct Not unto me, — 

Not unto me ; but unto Him 

Who form'd the depths in which I lie ; 
Go, give thy thanks, my little boy, 

To Him who will thy wants supply." 
The boy took off his cap, and said, 

In tones so gentle and subdued, 
" O God, I thank Thee for this gift ; 

Thou art the Giver of all good." 



514 CHOICE READINGS. 



YOU PUT NO FLOWEKS ON MY PAPA'S GKAVE. 

C. E. L. Holmes. 

With sable-draped banners, and slow measured tread, 
The flower-laden ranks pass the gates of the dead ; 
And, seeking each mound where a comrade's form rests, 
Leave tear-bedew'd garlands to bloom on his breast. 

Ended at last is the labour of love : 
Once more through the gateway the sadden'd lines move ; 
A wailing of anguish, a sobbing of grief, 
Falls low on the ear of the battle-scarr'd chief : 
Close crouch'd by the portals, a sunny-hair'd child 
Besought him in accents which grief render'd wild : 

" O sir ! he was good, and they say he died brave ; 

Why, why did you pass by my dear papa's grave ? 

I know he was poor, but as kind and as true 

As ever march'd into the battle with you ; 

His grave is so humble, no stone marks the spot, 

You may not have seen it ; O, say you did not ! 

For my poor heart will break if you knew he was there, 

And thought him too lowly your offerings to share. 

He didn't die lowly, — he pour'd his heart's blood, 

In rich crimson streams, from the top-crowning sod 

Of the breastworks which stood in front of the fight, — 

And died shouting, ' Onward ! for God and the right ! ' 

O'er all his dead comrades your bright garlands wave, 

But you haven't put one on my papa's grave. 

If mamma were here, — but she lies by his side ; 

Her wearied heart broke when our dear papa died." 

" Battalion ! file left ! countermarch ! " cried the chief, 

"This young orphan'd maid hath full cause for her grief.' 

Then up in his arms from the hot, dusty street, 

He lifted the maiden, while in through the gate 

The long line repasses, and many an eye 

Pays fresh tribute of tears to the lone orphan's sigh. 

" This way it is, — here, sir, — right under this tree ; 
They lie close together, with just room for me." 



THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL. 515 

" Halt! Cover with roses each lowly green mound ; 

A love pure as this makes these graves h allow 'd ground." 

" O ! thank you, kind sir! I ne'er can repay 
The kindness you've shown little Daisy to-day ; 
But I'll pray for you here, each day while I live, 
'Tis all that a poor soldier's orphan can give. 
I shall see papa soon, and dear mamma too, — 
I dream'd so last night, and I know 'twill come true ; 
And they both will bless you, I know, when I say 
How you folded your arms round their dear one to-day ; 
How you cheer'd her sad heart, and soothed it to rest, 
And hush'd its wild throbs on your strong noble breast ; 
And, when the kind angels shall call you to come, 
We'll welcome you then to our beautiful home, 
Where death never comes, his black banners to wave, 
And the beautiful flowers ne'er weep o'er a grave." 



>>®<c 



THE BUTTERFLY'S BALL. 

Thomas Roscoe. 

Come, take up your hats, and awaj T let us haste 
To the butterfly's ball and the grasshopper's feast ; 
The trumpeter gadfly has summon'd the crew, 
And the revels are uow only waiting for you. 

On the smooth-shaven grass b}^ the side of the wood, 
Beneath a broad oak that for ages has stood, 
See the children of earth and the tenants of air 
For an evening's amusement together repair. 

And there came the beetle, so blind and so black, 
Who carried the emmet, his friend, on his back ; 
And there was the gnat, and the dragonfly too, 
With all their relations, green, orange, and blue. 

And there came the moth, in his plumage of down, 
And the hornet, with jacket of yellow and brown, 



516 CHOICE READINGS. 

Who with him the wasp, his companion, did bring ; 
But they promised that evening to lay 03* their sting. 

And the sly little dormouse crept out of his hole, 
And led to the feast his blind brother the mole ; 
And the snail, with his horns peeping out from his shell, 
Came from a great distance, — the length of an ell. 

A mushroom their table, and on it was laid 
A water-dock leaf, which a tablecloth made ; 
The viands were various, to each of their taste, 
And the bee brought his honey to crown the repast. 

There, close on his haunches, so solemn and wise, 
The frog from a corner look'd up to the skies ; 
And the squirrel, well pleased such diversion to see, 
Sat cracking his nuts overhead in the tree. 

Then out came the spider, with fingers so fine, 
To show his dexterity on the tight line; 
From one branch to another his cobwebs he slung, 
Then as quick as an arrow he darted along. 

But just in the middle, O, shocking to tell ! 

From his rope in an instant poor Harlequin fell ; 

Yet he touch'd not the ground, but with talons outspread, 

Hung suspended in air at the end of a thread. 



'»■> 



Then the grasshopper came with a jerk and a spring 
Very long was his leg, though but short was his wing ; 
He took but three leaps, and was soon out of sight, 
Then chirp'd his own praises the rest of the night. 

With step so majestic the snail did advance, 

And promised the gazers a minuet to dance ; 

But they all laugh'd so loud that he pull'd in his head, 

And went to his own little chamber to bed. 



THE SMACK IN SCHOOL. 517 

THE SMACK W SCHOOL. 

W. P. Palmer. 

A district school, Dot far away, 

'Mid Berkshire hills, one Winter's day, 

Was humming with its wonted noise 

Of three-score mingled girls and boys ; 

Some few upon their tasks intent, 

But more on furtive mischief bent. 

The while the master's downward look 

Was fasten'd on a copy-book ; 

When suddenly, behind his back, 

Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack, 

As 'twere a batteiy of bliss 

Let off in one tremendous kiss ! 

" What's that? " the startled master cries : 

" That, thir," a little imp replies, 

" Wath William Willeth, if you pleathe ; 

I thaw him kith Thuthanna Peathe ! " 

With frown to make a statue thrill, 

The master thunder'd, " Hither, Will ! " 

Like wretch o'ertaken in his track 

With stolen chattels on his back, 

Will hung his head in fear and shame, 

And to the awful presence came, — 

A great, green, bashful simpleton, 

The butt of all good-natured fun. 

With smile suppress'd, and birch upraised, 

The threatener falter'd : " I'm amazed 

That you, my biggest pupil, should 

Be guilty of an act so rude ! 

Before the whole set school to boot ; 

What evil genius put you to't?" 

" 'Twas she, herself, sir," sobb'd the lad; 

' ' I did not mean to be so bad : 

But, when Susannah shook her curls, 

And whisper'd, I was 'fraid of girls, 



518 CHOICE READINGS. 

And dursn't kiss a bab3 -, s doll, 

I couldn't stand it, sir, at all, 

But up and kiss'd her on the spot ! 

I know — boo-hoo — I ought to not, 

But, somehow, from her looks — boo-hoo — 

I thought she kind o' wish'd me to ! " 

MARGARET GRAY. 

Charles Lamb. 

It was noontide. The sun was very hot. An old gentle- 
woman sat spinning in a little arbour at the door of her cot- 
tage. She was blind ; and her grand-daughter was reading 
the Bible to her. The old lady had just left her work, to 
attend to the story of Ruth. 

" Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto 
her." It was a passage she could not let pass without a 
comment. The moral she drew from it was not very new, to 
be sure. The girl had heard it a hundred times before ; and 
a hundred times more she could have heard it, without sus- 
pecting it to be tedious. Rosamund loved her grand- 
mother. 

The old lady loved Rosamund too ; and she had reason 
for so doing. Rosamund was to her at once a child and a 
servant. She had only her left in the world. They two 
lived together. 

They had once known better days. The story of Rosa- 
mund's parents, their failure, their folly and distresses, may 
be told another time. Our tale hath grief enough in it. 

It was now about a year and a half since old Margaret 
Gray had sold off all her effects, to pay the debts of Rosa- 
mund's father, — just after the mother had died of a broken 
heart ; for her husband had fled his countiy, to hide his 
shame in a foreign land. At that period the old lady 
retired to a small cottage in the village of Widforcl in Hert- 
fordshire. 

Rosamund, in her thirteenth vear, was left destitute, 



MARGARET GRAY. 519 

without fortune or friends : she went with her grandmother. 
In all this time she had served her faithfully and lovingly. 

Old Margaret Gray, when she first came into these parts, 
had eyes, and could see. The neighbours said they had been 
dimmed by weeping: be that as it may, she was lattery- 
grown quite blind. " God is very good to us, child ; I can 
feel }'Ou yet." This she would sometimes say ; and we need 
not wonder to hear that Rosamund clave unto her grand- 
mother. 

Margaret retained a spirit unbroken hy calamity. There 
was a principle ivithin, which it seemed as if no outward 
circumstance could reach. It was religious principle ; and 
she had taught it to Rosamund ; for the girl had mostly 
resided with her grandmother from her earliest years. In- 
deed she had taught her all that she knew herself ; and the 
old lady's knowledge did not extend a vast way. 

Their library consisted chiefly in a large family Bible, 
with notes and expositions by various learned expositors, 
from Bishop Jewell downwards. 

This might never be suffered to lie about like other books, 
but was kept constantly wrapt in a handsome case of green 
velvet, with gold tassels, — the only relic of departed gran- 
deur they had brought with them to the cottage ; every thing- 
else of value had been sold off for the purpose above men- 
tioned. 

This Bible Rosamund, when a child, had never dared to 
open without permission ; and even yet, from habit, contin- 
ued the custom. Margaret had parted with none of her 
authority- ; indeed it was never exerted with much harshness ; 
and happy w r as Rosamund, though a girl grown, when she 
could obtain leave to read her Bible. It was a treasure too 
valuable for indiscriminate use ; and Margaret still pointed 
out to her grand-danghter where to read. 

Rosamund's mind was pensive and reflective, rather than 
what passes usually for clever or acute. From a child she 
was remarkably shy and thoughtful : this w T as taken for stu- 
piditj- and want of feeling ; and the child has been sometimes 



520 CHOICE READINGS. 

whipt for being a stubborn thing, when her little heart was 
almost bursting with affection. 

Even now her grandmother would often reprove her, when 
she found her too grave and melancholy ; give her Sprightly 
lectures about good-humour and rational mirth ; and not 
unfrequently fall a-crying herself, to the great discredit of 
her lecture. Those tears endeared her the more to Rosa- 
mund. 

Margaret would say, "Child, I love you to cry, when I 
think you are only remembering your poor dear father and 
mother : I would have you think about them sometimes, — 
it would be strange if you did not ; but I fear, Rosamund, — 
I fear, girl, you sometimes think too deeply about your own 
situation and poor prospects in life. When } t ou do so, you 
do wrong : remember the naughty rich man in the parable. 
He never had any good thoughts about God and His religion ; 
and that might have been your case." 

Rosamund, at these times, could not reply to her : she 
was not in the habit of arguing with her grandmother : so 
she was quite silent on these occasions ; or else the girl 
knew well enough herself that she had only been sad to think 
of the desolate condition of her best friend, to see her, in 
her old age, so infirm and blind. But she had never been 
used to make excuses when the old lady said she was doing 
wrong. 

The neighbours were all very kind to them. The veriest 
rustics never passed them without a bow, or a pulling-off of 
the hat, some show of courtesy, awkward indeed, but affec- 
tionate, — with a "Good-morrow, madam," or "young 
madam," as it might happen. 

Rude and savage natures, who seem born with a propen- 
$\ty to express contempt for any thing that looks like pros- 
perity, yet felt respect for its declining lustre. 

The farmers, and better sort of people, (as they are 
called,) all promised to provide for Rosamund when her 
grandmother should die. Margaret trusted in God, and 
believed them. 



BETTER IN THE MORNING. 521 

She used to say, i; I have lived many years in the world, 
and have never known people, good people, to be left with- 
out some friend; a relation, a benefactor, or something. 
God knows our wants ; that it is not good for man or 
woman to be alone : and He always sends us a helpmate, a 
leaning-place, a somewhat." Upon this sure ground of 
experience did Margaret build her trust in Providence. 

BETTER IN THE MOKNItfG. 

Leander S. Coan. 

"You can't help the baby, parson, 

But still I want ye to go 
Down and look in upon her. 

An' read an' pray, you know. 
Only last week she was skipping around 

A-pullin' my whiskers 'n' hair, 
A-climbin' up to the table 

Into her little high chair. 



When her little cheeks grew red, 
When she kiss'd good night to papa, 

And went away to bed, — 
Sez she, ' 'Tis headache, papa, 

Be better in mornin', — bye' ; 
An' somethin' in how she said it 

Jest made me want to cry. 

But the mornin' brought the fever, 

And her little hands were hot, 
An' the pretty red uv her little cheeks 

Grew into a crimson spot. 
But she laid there jest ez patient 

Ez ever a woman could. 
Taking whatever we give her 

Better'n a grown woman would. 



522 CHOICE READINGS. 

The days are terrible long an' slow, 

An' she's growin' wus in each ; 
An' now she's jest a slippin' 

Clear away out uv our reach. 
Every night when I kiss her, 

Try in' hard not to cry, 
She sa} T s in a way that kills me, 

4 Be better in mornin', — bye ! ' 

She can't get through the night, parson ; 

So I want ye to come an'^pray, 
And talk with mother a little, — 

You'll know jest what to say : 
Not that the baby needs it, 

Nor that we make any complaint 
That God seems to think He's needin' 

The smile uv the little saint." 



I walk'd along with the corporal 

To the door of his humble home, 
To which the silent messenger 

Before me had also come ; 
And, if he had been a titled prince, 

I would not have been honour'd more 
Than I was with his heartfelt welcome 

To his lowly cottage door. 

Night falls again in the cottage ; 

The}' move in silence and dread 
Around the room where the baby 

Lies panting upon her bed. 
" Does baby know papa, darling?" 

And she moved her little face 
With answer that shows she knows him ; 

But scarce a visible trace 

Of her wonderful infantile beauty 

Remains as it was before : 
The unseen silent messenger 

Had waited at the door. 
' ' Papa — kiss — baby ; — I's — so — tired." 

The man bows low his face, 
And two swollen hands are lifted 

In babv's last embrace. 



TAME HAKES. 523 

And into her father's grizzled beard 

The little red fingers cling, 
"While her husky whisper' d tenderness 

Tears from a rock would wring, 
" Baby — is — so — sick — papa. — 

But — don't — want — you — to — cry :" 
The little hands fall on the coverlet. — 

" Be -better — in rnornin', bye ! " 

And night around baby is falling, 

Settling down dark and dense : 
Does God need their darling in Heaven 

That He must carry her hence ? 
I pray'd. with tears in my voice, 

As the corporal solemnly knelt 
With such grief as never before 

His great warm heart had felt. 

O frivolous men and women ! 

Do you know that around you. and nigh, 
Alike from the humble and haughty 

Goeth up ever more the cry : 
" My child, my precious, my darling, 

How can I let you die ? ' ' 
O ! hear ye the white lips whisper, 

"Be - better — in mornin' bye ! " 



*»i< 



TAME HAEES. 

William Cowper. 

The children of a neighbour of mine had a leveret given 
them for a plaything ; it was at that time about three months 
old. Soon becoming weary of their charge, they readily con- 
sented that their father should offer it to my acceptance. 

I was willing enough to take the prisoner under my pro- 
tection, perceiving that in the management of such an animal 
and in the attempt to tame it, I should find just that sort of 
employment which my case required. It was soon known 
among the neighbours that I was pleased with the present ; 
and the consequence was that in a short time I had as many 



524 CHOICE READINGS. 

leverets offered to me as would have stocked a paddock. I 
undertook the care of three, called Puss, Tiney, and Bess. 
Immediately commencing carpenter, I built them houses to 
sleep in, so contrived that they were kept perfectly sweet 
and clean. In the da}--time the}' had the range of a hall, 
and at night retired each to his own bed, never intruding 
into that of another. 

Puss grew presently familiar, would leap into my lap, raise 
himself upon his hinder feet, and bite the hair from my tem- 
ples. He would suffer me to take him up, and to carry him 
about in my arms, and has more than once fallen fast asleep 
upon my knee. He was ill three days, during which time I 
nursed him, kept him apart from his fellows, that they might 
not molest him, (for, like many other wild animals, they per- 
secute one of their own species that is sick,) and by constant 
care, and trying him with a variety of herbs, restored him to 
perfect health. 

No creature could be more grateful than my patient after 
his recovery, a sentiment which he expressed by licking my 
hand, first the back of it, then the palm, then every finger 
separately, then between all the fingers ; a ceremony which 
he never performed but once again upon a similar occasion. 
Finding him extremely tractable, I made it my custom to 
carry him always after breakfast into the garden, where he 
hid himself generally under the leaves of a cucumber-vine, 
sleeping or chewing the cud till evening ; in the leaves also 
of that vine he found a favourite repast. I had not long 
habituated him to this state of liberty before he began to be 
impatient for the return of the time when he might enjoy it. 
He would invite me to the garden by drumming upon my 
knee, and by a look of such expression as it was not possible 
to misinterpret. If this rhetoric did not immediately suc- 
ceed, he would take the skirt of my coat between his teeth 
and pull it with all his force. Thus Puss might be said to 
be perfectly tamed, the shyness of his nature was done away, 
and on the whole it was visible, by many symptoms which I 



TAME HARES. 525 

have not room to enumerate, that he was happier in human 
society than when shut up with his natural companions. 

Not so Tiney ; upon him the kindest treatment had not the 
least effect. He, too, was sick, and in his sickness had an 
equal share of mj- attention ; but if, after his recoveiw, I 
took the liberty to stroke him, he would grunt, strike with 
his fore-feet, spring forward, and bite. He was, however, 
veiy entertaining in his way ; even his surliness was matter 
of mirth ; and in his play he preserved such an air of gravity, 
and performed his feats with such a solemnity of manner, 
that in him, too, I had an agreeable companion. 

Bess, who died soon after he was full grown, and whose 
death was occasioned by his being turned into his box, which 
had been washed, while it was yet damp, was a hare of great 
humour and drollery. Puss was tamed by gentle usage ; 
Tiney was not to be tamed at all ; and Bess had a courage 
and confidence that made him tame from the beginning. I 
always admitted them into the parlour after supper, when, 
the carpet affording their feet a firm hold, they would frisk, 
and bound, and play a thousand gambols, in which Bess, 
being remarkably strong and fearless, was always superior to 
the rest. One evening the cat, being in the room, had the 
hardiness to pat Bess upon the cheek, an indignity which he 
resented by drumming upon her back with such violence, 
that the cat was happy to escape from under his paws and 
hide herself. 

I describe these animals as having each a character of his 
own. Such they were, in fact, and their countenances were 
so expressive of that character, that when I looked only on 
the face of either, I immediately knew which it was. It is 
said that a shepherd, however numerous his flock, soon be- 
comes so familiar with their features, that he can distinguish 
each from all the rest, and yet, to a common observer, the 
difference is hardly perceptible. I doubt not that the same 
discrimination in the cast of countenances would be discov- 
erable in hares, and am persuaded that among a thousand of 
them no two could be found exactly similar. These creatures 



526 CHOICE READINGS. 

have a singular sagacity in discovering the minutest altera- 
tion that is made in the place to which they are accustomed, 
and instantly apply their nose to the examination of a new 
object. A small hole being burnt in the carpet, it was 
mended with a patch, and that patch in a moment underwent 
the strictest scrutiny. 

They seem too to be very much directed by the smell 
in the choice of their favourites; to some persons, though 
they saw them daily, they could never be reconciled, and 
would even scream when the}' attempted to touch them ; but 
a miller coming in engaged their affections at once ; his pow- 
dered coat had claims that were irresistible. It is no wonder 
that my intimate acquaintance with these specimens of the 
kind has taught me to hold the sportsman's amusement in 
abhorrence : he little knows what amiable creatures he perse- 
cutes, of what gratitude they are capable, how cheerful they 
are in their spirits, what enjoyment they have of life ; and 
that, impressed as they seem with a peculiar dread of man, it 
is only because man gives them peculiar cause for it. 

Bess, I have said, died young ; Tiney lived to be nine 
years old, and died at last, I have reason to think, of some 
hurt in his loins by a fall ; Puss is still living, and has just 
completed his tenth year, discovering no signs of deca}*, nor 
even of age, except that he has grown more discreet and less 
frolicsome than he was. I cannot conclude without observ- 
ing that I have lately introduced a clog to his acquaintance, 
a spaniel that had never seen a hare, to a hare that had never 
seen spaniel. I did it with great caution, but there was no 
real need of it ; Puss discovered no token of fear, nor Mar- 
quis the least symptom of hostility. There is, therefore, it 
should seem, no natural antipathy between dog and hare, 
but the pursuit of the one occasions the flight of the other, 
and the dog pursues because he is trained to it ; the}- eat 
bread at the same time out of the same hand, and are in all 
respects sociable and friendly. 



RATS. 



527 



EATS. 

Jane Loudon. 

A white rat having been caught in some stables, and be- 
ing from its colour thought a great curiosity, it was brought 
to a gentleman who was known to take great interest in ani- 
mals. At first it was very savage, and tried to bite when 
left loose. It was therefore put into a turning squirrel-cage, 
and for two or three days kept short of food and allowed 
none that it would not take out of its owner's hand. At first 
it snapped and tried to bite through the wires, but soon 
learned to know his voice, and came out on hearing it ; but 
usually it lay hid in the box at the end of the cage, and 
when its master took it out, it several times bit him severely. 
Finding at last that he alwa}'s treated it kindly, it grew 
tame, and would let him open the box and look in, without 
stirring. He could soon let it out in his sitting-room, and it 
would come close to his feet to pick up the crumbs which he 
dropped for it, and in a fortnight came when called, and ate 
sugar from his hand. 

When the rat was first brought, his little white terrier, 
Flora, was very anxious to get at it and kill it ; but their 
master, holding the rat, called Flora, and showed it to her. 
She seemed at once to understand what he meant, and, far 
from harming it, thenceforward, if any stranger came in 
while it was loose, she stood by it, growling and showing 
her teeth, and the rat never failed to run up to her for pro- 
tection at such times. There was a walled garden behind 
the house, where both rat and dog were often turned out to 
pla}- together, which the}' did by a kind of hide-and-seek 
among the flowers ; but if their master whistled, there was at 
once a race to be the first to get to him. 

Scugg, as he called the rat, became so bold that he would 
get on the table and carry off food to share with Flora, but, 
if she tried to get the first bite, Scugg kept her in order by 
striking her on the nose with his paw. Flora took this very 



528 CHOICE READINGS. 

meekly, lapped milk out of the same saucer as Scugg, and 
slept on the rug with him between her paws. 

Many people thought that its strange colour was the rea- 
son that the dog did not destroy it, but this was proved not 
to be the case. Another white rat being caught, it was set 
free in the room where Scugg and Flora were at play. Both 
the rats ran round the room with Flora after them, and in a 
moment one was killed by the terrier, to the great dismay of 
her master, who could not tell one rat from the other, so 
much were the}' alike, and thought that perhaps his pet had 
perished. Great was his joy to see Scugg run into a corner, 
and Flora follow to guard him, and she stood growling till 
the dead rat was taken away. The end of the poor rat was 
a sad one. His master gave him awa} T , and he pined and 
moped, and at last was found dead in his box. 



LOVE AND PEAYEK. 

Coleridge. 

O, sweeter than the marriage-feast, 

'Tis sweeter far to me, 

To walk together to the kirk, 

And all together pray, 

While each to his great Father bends, 

Old men, and babes, and loving friends, 

And youths and maidens gay ! 

Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell 
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest, — 
He prayeth well, who loveth well 
Both man and bird and beast : 

He prayeth best, who loveth best 
All things both great and small ; 
For the dear God who loveth us, 
He made and loveth all. 



THE BEAUTIFUL SX0W. 529 



XIII. 
DRAMATIC, NOT IN THE DRAMA. 



THE BEAUTIFUL SNOW. 

James W. Watson. 

O the snow, the beautiful snow ! 
Filling the sky and earth below ! 
Over the house-tops, over the street, 
Over the heads of the people you meet, 
Dancing, flirting, skimming along : 
Beautiful snow ! it can do no wrong ; 
Flying to kiss a fair lady's cheek, 
Clinging to lips in a frolicsome freak, 
Beautiful snow from the heaven above, 
Pure as an angel, but fickle as love ! 

O the snow, the beautiful snow ! 
How the flakes gather and laugh as they go ! 
"Whirling about in their maddening fun 
They play in their glee with every one. 

Chasing, laughing, hurrying by, 
It lights on the face and it sparkles the eye ; 
And even the dogs, with a bark and a bound. 
Snap at the crystals that eddy around ; 
The town is alive and its heart in a glow, 
To welcome the coming of beautiful snow ! 

How the wild crowd goes swaying along, 
Hailing each other with humour and song ! 
How the gay sledges, like meteors, flash by, 



530 CHOICE READINGS. 

Bright for a moment, then lost to the eye : 

Ringing, swinging, clashing the}" go, 
Over the crust of the beautiful snow ! 
Snow so pure when it falls from the sky, 
To be trampled in mud by the crowd rushing by ; 
To be trampled and track 'd by the thousands of feet, 
Till it blends with the filth in the horrible street. 

Once I was pure as the snow, — but I fell ! 
Fell, like the snow-flakes, from Heaven to Hell ; 
Fell to be trampled as filth in the street ; 
Fell to be scoff 'd. to be spit on and beat ; 

Pleading, cursing, dreading to die, 
Selling my soul to whoever would buy ; 
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread, 
Hating the living and fearing the dead : 
Merciful God ! have I fallen so low ? 
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow. 

Once I was fair as the beautiful snow, 
With an e3"e like its crystal, a heart like its glow ; 
Once I was loved for my innocent grace, 
Flatter' d and sought for the charms of my face ! 

Father, mother, sisters, all, 
God and nryself , I have lost by my fall ; 
And the veriest wretch that goes shivering by 
Will make a wide swoop lest I wander too nigh ; 
For all that is on or about me I know 
There is nothing that's pure but the beautiful snow. 

How strange it should be that this beautiful snow 
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go ! 
How strange it should be, when the night comes again, 
If the snow and the ice strike my desperate brain ; 

Fainting, freezing, dying alone, 
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for my moan 
To be heard in the crash of the crazy town, 



BERNARDO PEL CAKPIO. 531 

Gone mad in the joy of the snow corning down. 
To lie and to die in my terrible woe. 

With a bed and a shroud of the beautiful snow ! 



BEENAEDO DEL CAKPIO. 

Mrs. Hemaus. 

The warrior bow'd his crested head, and tamed his heart of fire. 
And sued the haughty king to free his long-imprison'd sire : 

i ing thee here my fortress-keys. I bring my captive train. 
I pledge thee faith, my liege, my lord I — O. break my father's 
chain ! " 

•■ Rise, rise ! even now thy father comes, a ransom'd man this day ! 
M rant thy good horse : and thou and I will meet him on his way."' 
Then lightly rose that loyal son. and bounded on his steed, 
And urged, as if with lance in rest, the charger's foamy speed. 

And. lo ! from far, as on they press'd, there came a glittering band. 
With one that 'midst them stately rode, as leader in the land : 
*• Xow haste, Bemado, haste ! for there, in very truth, is he. 
The father whom thy faithful heart hath yearn'd so long to see." 

His dark eye rlash'd, his proud breast heaved, his cheek's hue came 
and went : 

He reaclrd that gTay-hair'd chieftain's side, and there, dismount- 
ing, bent : 

A lowly knee to earth he bent, his father's hand he took, — 

What was there in its touch that all his fiery spirit shook? 

That hand was cold. — a frozen thing: it dropp'd from his like 

lead ! 
He look'd up to the face above. — the face was of the dead ! 
A plume waved o'er the noble brow, — the brow was flx'd and 

white : 
He met at last, his father's eyes. — bur in rh^::: was no light ! 

Up from the ground he sprang and gazed. — but who could paint 

that gaz 
They hush'd their very hearts that saw its horror and amaze : 
They might have chain'd him. as before that stony form he stood ; 
For the power was stricken from his arm, and from his lip the 

bk : 



532 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Father ! " at length he muraiur'd low, and wept like childhood 

then : 
Talk not of grief till thou hast seen the tears of warlike men ! 
He thought on all his hopes, and all his young renown, — 
He flung his falchion from his side, and in the dust sat down. 

Then, covering with his steel-gloved hands his darkly mournful 

brow, 
" Xo more, there is no more," he said, " to lift the sword for, now ; 
My king is false, — my hope betray 'd ! My father, — O ! the worth, 
The glory and the loveliness are pass'd away from Earth ! 

I thought to stand where banners waved, my sire, beside thee, yet ! 
I would that there our kindred blood on Spain's free soil had met! 
Thou wouldst have known my spirit, then : for thee my fields were 

won ; 
And thou hast perish'd in thy chains, as though thou hadst no 

son ! " 

Then, starting from the ground once more, he seized the mon- 
arch's rein, 
Amidst the pale and wilder'd looks of all the courtier-train ; 
And, with a fierce, o'ermastering grasp, the rearing warhorse led, 
And sternly set them face to face, — the king before the dead : 



" Came I not forth, upon thy pledge, my father's hand to kiss? — 
Be still, and gaze thou on, false king ! and tell me, what is this ? 
The voice, the glance, the heart I sought, — give answer, where are 

they? 
If thou wouldst clear thy perjured soul, send life through this cold 

clay! 

Into these glassy eyes put light ; — be still ! keep down thine ire ! — 
Bid these white lips a blessing speak, — this earth is not my sire : 
Give me back him for whom I strove, for whom my blood was 

shed ! — 
Thou canst not ? — and a king ! — his dust be mountains on thy 

head!" 

He loosed the steed, — his slack hand fell : upon the silent face 
He cast one long, deep, troubled look, then turn'd from that sad 

place : 
His hope was crush'd, his after fate untold in martial strain : 
His banner led the spears no more amidst the hills of Spain. 



533 



COUNT CANDESPINA'S STAKDAED. 

Geo. H. Boker. 

The King of Aragon now entered Castile, by way of Soria and Osnia, 
■with a powerful army ; and. having been met by the Queen's forces, both 
parties encamped near Sepulveda. and prepared to give battle. 

This engagement, called, from the field where it took place, de la Espina. 
is one of the most famous of that age. The dastardly count of Lara fled at 
the first shock, and joined the Queen at Burgos, where she was anxiously 
awaiting the issue: but the brave Count of Candespina stood his ground to 
the last, and died on tbe field of battle. His standard-bearer, a gentleman 
of the house of Olea, after having his horse killed under him, and both 
hands cut off by sabre-strokes, fell beside his master, still clasping the 
standard in his arms, and repeating his war-cry of ;i Olea! " — Annals of 
the Queens of Spain. 

Scarce were the splinter'd lances dropp'd, 

m Scarce were the swords drawn out. 
Ere recreant Lara, sick with fear. 
Had wheel' d his steed about : 

His courser rear'd. and plunged, and neigh'd. 

Loathing the fight to yield ; 
But the coward spurred him to the bone. 

And drove him from the field. 

Gonzalez in his stirrups rose : 

" Turn. turn, thou traitor knight ! 
Thou bold tongue in a lady's bower, 

Thou dastard in a fight \ " 

But vainly valiant Gomez cried 

Across the waning fray : 
Pale Lara and his craven band 

To Burgos scour VI away. 

•• Now. by the God above me. sirs. 

Better we all were dead 
Than a single knight among ye all 

Should ride where Lara led ! 



534 CHOICE READINGS. 

Yet ye who fear to follow me, 
As 3 T on traitor turn and fly ; 

For I lead ye not to win a field ; 
I lead ye forth to die. 

Olea, plant my standard here, — 

Here on this little mound ; 
Here raise the war-cry of thy House, 

Make this our rally ing-ground. 

Forget not, as thou hopest for grace i 

The last care I shall have 
Will be to hear thy battle-ciy. 

And see that standard wave." 

Down on the ranks of Aragon 

The bold Gonzalez drove, 
And Olea raised his battle-cry, 

And waved the flag above. 

Slowly Gonzalez' little band 
Gave ground before the foe ; 

But not an inch of the field was won 
Without a deadly blow ; 

And not an inch of the field was won 

That did not draw a tear 
From the widow'cl wives of Aragon, 

That fatal news to hear. 

Backward and backward Gomez fought, 
And high o'er the clashing steel 

Plainer and plainer rose the cry, 
"Olea for Castile!" 

Backward fought Gomez, step by step, 
Till the cry was close at hand, — 

Till his dauntless standard shadow 'd him ; 
And there he made his stand. 



COUNT CANDESPINA'S STANDARD. 535 

Mace, sword, and axe rang on his mail, 

Yet he moved not where he stood, 
Though each gaping joint of armour ran 

A stream of purple blood. 

As, pierced with countless wounds, he fell. 

The standard caught his eye, 
And he smiled, like an infant hush'd asleep, 

To hear the battle-cry. 

Now one by one the wearied knights 

Have fallen, or basely flown ; 
And on the mount where his post was fix'd 

Olea stood alone. 

" Yield up tlry banner, gallant knight ! 

Thy lord lies on the plain : 
Th} r duty has been nobly done ; 

I would not see thee slain." 

" Spare pity, King of Aragon ! 

I would not hear thee lie : 
My lord is looking down from Heaven 

To see his standard fly." 

" Yield, madman, }'ield ! thy horse is down, 

Thou hast nor lance nor shield ; 
Fly ! — I will grant thee time." " This flag 

Can neither fly nor yield ! " 

They girt the standard round about, 

A wall of flashing steel ; 
But still thej^ heard the battle-cry, 

"Olea for Castile!" 

And there, against all Aragon, 

Full-arm'd with lance and brand, 
Olea fought until the sword 

Snapp'd in his sturdy hand. 



536 CHOICE READINGS. 

Among the foe with that high scorn 
Which laughs at earthly fears, 

He hiui'd the broken hilt, and drew 
His dagger on the spears. 

They hew'd the hauberk from his breast, 
The helmet from his head ; 

They hew'd the hands from off his limbs ; 
From every vein he bled. 

Clasping the standard to his heart, 

He raised one dying peal, 
That rang as if a trumpet blew, — 

"Olea for Castile!" 

THE FAMINE. 

H. "W. Longfellow. 

O, the long and dreary Winter ! 
O, the cold and cruel Winter ! 
Ever thicker, thicker, thicker 
Froze the ice on lake and river ; 
Ever deeper, deeper, deeper 
Fell the snow o'er all the landscape, 
Fell the covering snow, and drifted 
Through the forest, round the village. 
Hardly from his buried wigwam 
Could the hunter force a passage ; 
With his mittens and his snow-shoes 
Vainly walk'd he through the forest, 
Sought for bird or beast and found none, 
Saw no track of deer or rabbit, 
In the snow beheld no footprints, 
In the ghastly, gleaming forest 
Fell, and could not rise from weakness, 
Perish'd there from cold and hunger. 



THE FAMINE. 537 

O, the famine and the fever ! 
O, the wasting of the famine ! 
O, the blasting of the fever ! 
O, the wailing of the children ! 
O, the anguish of the women ! 
All the earth was sick and famish' d ; 
Hungry was the air around them, 
Hungry was the sky above them, 
And the hungry stars in heaven 
Like the eyes of wolves glared at them. 

Into Hiawatha's wigwam 
Came two other guests, as silent 
As the ghosts were, and as gloomy ; 
Waited not to be invited, 
Did not parle}' at the door-way, 
Sat there without word of welcome 
In the seat of Laughing Water ; 
Look'd with haggard eyes and hollow 
At the face of Lang-hintr Vf ater. 
And the foremost said, " Behold me ! 
I am Famine, Bukadawin ! " 
And the other said, " Behold me ! 
I am Fever, Ahkosewin ! " 
And the lovely Minnehaha 
Shudder'd as they look'd upon her, 
Shudder'd at the words they utter'd, 
Lay down on her bed in silence, 
Hid her face, but made no answer ; 
Lay there trembling, freezing, burning 
At the looks they cast upon her, 
At the fearful words they utter'd. 

Forth into the empty forest 
Rush'd the madden'd Hiawatha; 
In his heart was deadly sorrow, 
In his face a stony firmness, 



538 CHOICE READINGS. 

On his brow the sweat of anguish 
Started, but it froze and fell not. 
Wrapp'd in furs and arm'd for hunting 
With his mighty bow of ash-tree, 
With his quiver full of arrows, 
With his mittens, Minjekahwun, 
Into the vast and vacant forest 
On his snow-shoes strode he forward. 

" Gitche Manito, the mighty ! " 
Cried he with his face uplifted 
In that bitter hour of anguish, 
" Give your children food, O Father! 
Give us food, or we must perish ! 
Give me food for Minnehaha, 
For my dying Minnehaha ! " 
Through the far-resounding forest, 
Through the forest vast and vacant 
Rang that cry of desolation ; 
But there came no other answer 
Than the echo of his crying, 
Than the echo of the woodlands, 
" Minnehaha ! Minnehaha ! " 

All day long roved Hiawatha 
In that melancholy forest, 
Through the shadow of whose thickets, 
In the pleasant days of Summer, 
Of that ne'er forgotten Summer, 
He had brought his young wife homeward 
From the land of the Dacotahs ; 
When the birds sang in the thickets, 
And the streamlets laugh'd and glisten'd, 
And the air was full of fragrance, 
And the loving Laughing Water 
Said with voice that did not tremble, 
" I will follow you, my husband ! " 



THE FAMINE. 539 

In the wigwam with Nokomis, 
With those gloomy guests that watch'd her, 
With the Famine and the Fever, 
She was lying, the beloved, 
She, the dying Minnehaha. 
" Hark ! " she said, " I hear a rushing, 
Hear a roaring and a rushing, 
Hear the Falls of Minnehaha 
Calling to me from a distance ! " 
" No, my child ! " said old Nokomis, 
" 'Tis the night-wind in the pine-trees." 
" Look ! " she said, '*' I see my father 
Standing lonely at his door-way, 
Beckoning to me from his wigwam 
In the land of the Dacotahs." 
" No, my child ! " said old Nokomis, 
" 'Tis the smoke that waves and beckons." 
" Ah ! " she said, " the eyes of Pauguk 
Glare upon me in the darkness, 
I can feel his icy fingers 
Clasping mine amid the darkness ! 
Hiawatha ! Hiawatha ! " 

And the desolate Hiawatha, 
Far away amid the forest, 
Miles away among the mountains, 
Heard that sudden cry of anguish, 
Heard the voice of Minnehaha 
Calling to him in the darkness, 
" Hiawatha ! Hiawatha ! " 

Over snow-fields waste and pathless, 
Under snow-encumber'd branches, 
Homeward hurried Hiawatha, 
Empty-handed, heav3^-hearted ; 
Heard Nokomis moaning, wailing, 
u Wahonowin I Wahonowin ! 



..■•. 

540 CHOICE READINGS. 

Would that I had perish'd for you, 
Would that J were dead as 30U are, 
Wahouowiu ! Wahoiiowin ! " 
And he rush'd into the wigwam, 
Saw the old Nokomis slowly 
Rocking to and fro and moaning, 
Saw his lovely Minnehaha 
Lying dead and cold before him ; 
And his bursting heart within him 
Utter' d such a cry of anguish 
That the forest moau'd and shudder'd, 
That the very stars in heaven 
Shook and trembled with his anguish. 

Then he sat down, still and speechless, 
On the bed of Minnehaha, 
At the feet of Laughing Water, 
At those willing feet, that never 
More would lightly run to meet him, 
Never more would lightly follow. 
With both hands his face he cover'd ; 
Seven long days and nights he sat there, 
As if in a swoon he sat there, 
Speechless, motionless, unconscious 
Of the daylight or the darkness. 

Then they buried Minnehaha ; 
In the snow a grave they made her, 
In the forest deep and darksome, 
Underneath the moaning hemlocks ; 
Clothed her in her richest garments, 
Wrapp'd her in her robes of ermine, 
Cover'd her with snow, like ermine : 
Thus they buried Minnehaha ; 
And at night a fire was lighted, 
On her grave four times was kindled, 
For her soul upon its journey 



Kate shelly. 541 

To the Islands of the Blessed. 
From his door-way Hiawatha 
Saw it burning in the fores:. 
Lighting up the gloomy hemlocks : 
From his sleepless bed uprising. 
From the.l i '. >f Minnehaha, 
Stood and watelrd it at the door-way. 
That it might not be extinguished. 
Might not leave her in the darkness. 

•• Farewell ! " said he. •• Minnehaha ; 
Farewell. O my Laughing Water ! 
All my heart is buried with you. 
All my thoughts go onward with you ! 
Come not back again to labour. 
Come not back again to suffer, 
"Where the Famine and the Fever 
Wear the heart and waste the body. 
S : :>n my task will be completed. 
v : Mi your footsteps I shall follow 
T: the Islands of the Blessed, 
To the Kingdom of Ponemah. 
To the Land of the Hereafter ! " 

EATE SHELLY, 

EV3ZVZ J. Hau- 

Hawe you heard how a girl saved the lightning express 

Kate Shelly, whose father was kill'd on the re a '. 
Were he living to-day, he'd be proud to pos— ss 

Such a daughter as Kate. Ah ! 'twas grit that she show'd 
On that terrible evening when Donahue's train 
Juinp'd the bridge and went down, in the darkness and rain ! 

She was only eighteen, but a woman in size, 

With a figure as . seful and lithe as a doe; 
With peach-blossom cheeks, and with violet eyes, 

And teeth and complexion like new-fallen snow ; 



542 CHOICE READINGS. 

With a nature unspoil'd and unblemish'd by art, 
With a generous soul, and a warm, noble heart ! 



Men linger at home by their bright-blazing fires ; 
The wind wildly howls with a horrible sound, 

And shrieks through the vibrating telegraph wires ; 
The fierce lightning flashes along the dark sky ; 
The rain falls in torrents ; the river rolls by. 

The scream of a whistle ! the rush of a train ! 

The sound of a bell ! a mysterious light 
That flashes and flares through the fast-falling rain ! 

A rumble ! a roar ! shrieks of human affright ! 
The falling of timbers ! the space of a breath ! 
A splash in the river ! then darkness and death ! 

Kate Shelly recoils at the terrible crash ; 

The sounds of destruction she happens to hear ; 
She springs to the window, she throws up the sash, 

And listens and looks, with a feeling of fear : 
The tall tree-tops groan, and she hears the faint cry 
Of a drowning man down in the river near by ! 

Her heart feebly flutters, her features grow wan ; 

And then through her soul in a moment there flies 
A forethought that gives her the strength of a man : 

She turns to her trembling old mother and cries, 
"I must save the express ; 'twill be here in an hour ! " 
Then out through the door disappears in the shower. 

She flies dowm the track through the pitiless rain ; 

She reaches the river ; the water below 
Whirls and seethes through the timbers. She shudders again 

" The bridge ! To Moingona God help me to go ! " 
Then closely about her she gathers her gown, 
And on the wet ties with a shiver sinks down. 

Then carefully over the timber she creeps 

On her hands and her knees, almost holding her breath. 
The loud thunder peals and the wind wildly sweeps, 

And struggles to hurry her downward to death ; 
But the thought of the train to destruction so near 
Removes from her soul every feeling of fear. 



THE GAMBLERS WIFE. 543 

With the blood dripping down from each torn, bleeding limb, 
Slowly over the timbers her dark way she feels ; 

Her fingers grow numb and her head seems to swim ; 
Her strength is fast failing ; she staggers, she reels, 

She falls ! Ah ! the danger is over at last, 

Her feet touch the earth, and the long bridge is pass'd ! 

In an instant new life seems to come to her form; 

She springs to her feet and forgets her despair : 
On, on to Moingona ! She faces the storm, 

She reaches the station — the keeper is there. 
" Save the lightning express ! No, — hang out the red light ! 
There's death on the bridge at the river to-night ! " 

Out flashes the signal-light, rosy and red ; 

Then sounds the loud roar of the swift-coming train, 
The hissing of steam ; and there, brightly ahead, 

The gleam of a headlight illumines the rain. 
" Down brakes ! " shrieks the whistle, defiant and shrill : 
She heeds the red signal, she slackens ! she's still ! 

Ah ! noble Kate Shelly, your mission is done ; 

Your deed that dark night will not fade from our gaze ; 
An endless renown you have worthily won : 

Let the Nation be just, and accord you its praise ; 
Let your name, let your fame, and your courage declare 
What a woman can do, and a woman can dare. 

THE GAMBLEK'S WIPE. 

R. COATES. 

Dark is the night, how dark ! No light, no fire ! 
Cold, on the hearth, the last faint sparks expire ! 
Shivering, she watches by the cradle-side 
For him who pledged her love, — last year a bride ! 

" Hark ! 'tis his footstep. No ! 'tis past, 'tis gone ! " 
Tick, tick ! — " How wearily the time crawls on ! 
Why should he leave me thus ? He once was kind ; 
And I believed 'twould last ! — • How mad, how blind! 



544 CHOICE READINGS. 

" Rest thee, my babe, rest on ! — 'Tis hunger's cry : 

Sleep ! for there is no food, — the fount is dry : 

Famine and cold their wearying work have done : 

My heart must break ! And thou ! " — the clock strikes one. 

" Hush ! 'tis the dice-box ! Yes, he's there, he's there ! 
For this, — for this he leaves me to despair! 
Leaves love, leaves truth, his wife, Ms cMld! for what? 
The wanton's smile, — the villain, — and the sot ! 

Yet I'll not curse him : no ! 'tis all in vain : 

'Tis long to wait, but sure he'll come again ; 

And I could starve, and bless him, but for you, 

My child ! — his cMld ! O fiend ! " — The clock strikes two. 

" Hark, how the sign-board creaks ! The blast howls by. 
Moan ! moan ! A dirge swells through the cloudy sky. 
Ha, 'tis his knock ! he comes ! — he comes once more ! " 
'Tis but the lattice flaps : — thy hope is o'er. 

" Can he desert us thus ? He knows I stay, 
Night after night, in loneliness, to pray 
For his return, — and yet he sees no tear. 
No, no ! it cannot be : he will be here ! 

Nestle more closely, dear one, to my heart ! 

Thou'rt cold ! thou'rt freezing ! But we will not part. 

Husband ! — I die ! — Father ! — It is not he ! 

O God, protect my child ! " — The clock strikes three. 

They're gone, they're gone ! the glimmering spark hath fled : 

The wife and child are number'd with the dead : 

On the cold earth, outstretch'd in solemn rest, 

The babe lay frozen on its mother's breast. 

The gambler came at last, — but all was o'er ; 

Dread silence reign'd around : ■ — the clock struck four ! 



1 



JOHN MAYNARD, THE HERO-PILOT. 545 

JOHN" MAYNAED, THE HEEO-PILOT. 

John B. Gough. 

John Maynard was well known in the Lake district as a 
God-fearing, honest, intelligent man. He was a pilot on a 
steamer from Detroit to Buffalo, one summer afternoon. 
At that time those steamers seldom carried boats. Smoke 
was seen ascending from below, and the captain called out, 
" Simpson, go down and see what that smoke is." Simpson 
came up with his face pale as ashes, and said, " Captain, the 
ship is on fire ! " Then, " Fire ! fire ! fire ! fire on ship- 
board ! " All hands were called up. Buckets of water were 
dashed upon the fire, but in vain. There were large quanti- 
ties of rosin and tar on board, and it was useless to attempt 
to save the ship. Passengers rushed forward and inquired 
of the pilot, '"How far are we from Buffalo?" '-Seven 
miles." " How long before we reach it?" "Three-quar- 
ters of an hour at our present rate of steam." " Is there 
any danger?" "Danger here, — see the smoke bursting 
out ! Go forward, if you would save your lives ! " Passen- 
gers and crew, men, women, and children, crowded the for- 
ward part of the ship. John Maynard stood at the helm. 
The flames burst forth in a sheet of fire, clouds of smoke 
arose; the captain cried out through his trumpet, "John 
Maynard!" "Ay, ay, sir." "Are 3-ou at the helm?" 
"A3', ay, sir." " How does she head?" "Southeast by 
east, sir." " Head her southeast and run her on shore." 
Nearer, nearer, yet nearer she approached the shore. Again 
the captain cried out, "John Maynard!" The response 
came feebly, " Ay, ay, sir." " Can you hold on five min- 
utes longer, John?" " By God's help I can." The old 
man's hair was scorched from the scalp ; one hand disabled, 
his knee upon the stanchion, and his teeth set. with his 
other hand upon the wheel, he stood firm as a rock. He 
beached the ship, — every man, woman, and child was saved, 
as John Maynard dropped, and his spirit took its flight to 
his God. 



546 CHOICE READINGS. 

LADY OLAEE. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

It was the time when lilies blow, 
And clouds are highest up in air, 

Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe 
To give his cousin, Lady Clare. 

I trow they did not part in scorn : 
Lovers long-betroth'd were they : 

The}' two will wed the morrow morn ; 
God's blessing on the day ! 

" He does not love me for my birth, 
Nor for 1x13- lands so broad and fair ; 

He loves me for my own true worth, 
And that is well," said Lady Clare. 

In there came old Alice the nurse, 

Said, " Who was this that went from thee? " 

" It was my cousin," said Lady Clare, 
" To-morrow he weds with me." 

" O, God be thank'd ! " said Alice the nurse, 
' ' That all comes round so just and fair ; 

Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands, 
And you are not the Lady Clare." 

" Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, nvy nurse,' 
Said Lad}' Clare, " that ye speak so wild? " 

" As God's above," said Alice the nurse, 
" I speak the truth : you are my child. 

The old Earl's daughter died at my breast; 

I speak the truth, as I live by bread ! 
I buried her like my own sweet child, 

And put my child in her stead." 



LADY CLARE. 547 

" Falsely, falsely have ye done, 

O mother," she said, " if this be true ; — 

To keep the best man under the Sun 
So many years from his due." 

" Nay, now, my child," said Alice the nurse, 

But keep the secret for your life, 
And all you have will be Lord Ronald's, 

When you are man and wife." 

" If I'm a beggar born," she said, 
" I will speak out, for I dare not lie. 

Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold, 
And fling the diamond necklace by." 

" Nay, now, my child," said Alice the nurse, 

" But keep the secret all ye can." 
She said, Li Not so ; but I will know 

If there be any faith in man." 

" Nay, now, what faith?" said Alice the nurse ; 

" The man will cleave unto his right." 
" And he shall have it," the lady replied, 

" Though I should die to-night." 

" Yet give one kiss to your mother dear ! 

Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee." 
" O mother, mother, mother," she said, 

" So strange it seems to me. 

Yet here's a kiss for nvy mother dear, 

My mother dear, if this be so, 
And lay your hand upon my head, 

And bless me, mother, ere I go." 

She clad herself in a russet gown, 

She was no longer Lady Clare : 
She went by dale, and she went by down, 

With a single rose in her hair. 



548 CHOICE READINGS. 

The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had brought 
Leapt up from where she lay, 

Dropt her head in the maiden's hand, 
And follow'd her all the way. 

Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower : 
" O Lad} 7 Clare, yon shame your worth ! 

Why come you drest like a village maid, 
That are the flower of the Earth? " 

u If I come drest like a village maid, 
I am but as my fortunes are : 

I am a beggar born," she said, 
" And not the Lady Clare." 

" Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, 
" For I am yours in word and in deed; 

Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, 
" Your riddle is hard to read." 

O, and proudly stood she up ! 

Her heart within her did not fail : 
She look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes, 

And told him all her nurse's tale. 

He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn ; 

He turn'd and kiss'd her where she stood : 
u If you are not the heiress born, 

And I," said he, " the next in blood, — 

Ifyou are not the heiress born, 
And I," said he, " the lawful heir, 

We two will wed to-morrow morn, 
And you shall still be Lady Clare." 



maclaine's child. 549 

MACLAINE'S CHILD. 

Charles Mackay. 

" Maclaine ! you've scourged me like a hound : 
You should have struck me to the ground ; 
You should have play'd a chieftain's part ; 
You should have stabb'd me to the heart. 

You should have crush' d me unto death : 
But here I swear with living breath 
That for this wrong which you have done 
I'll wreak nry vengeance on 3 r our son, — 

On him, and you, and all your race ! " 
He said, and bounding from his place, 
He seized the child with sudden hold, — ■ 
A smiling infant, three years old, — 

And, starting like a hunted stag, 
He scaled the rock, he clomb the crag, 
And reach'd, o'er a many wide abyss, 
The beetling seaward precipice ; 

And, leaning o'er its topmost ledge, 
He held the infant o'er the edge : 
" In vain thy wrath, thy sorrow vain ; 
No hand shall save it, proud Maclaine ! " 

With flashing eye and burning brow 
The mother follow'd, heedless how, 
O'er crags with mosses overgrown, 
And stair-like juts of slippery stone. 

But midway up the rugged steep 
She found a chasm she could not leap, 
And, kneeling on its brink, she raised 
Her supplicating hands, and gazed. 



550 CHOICE READINGS. 

" O, spare my child, my joy, my pride ! 
O, give me back nry child ! " she cried : 
" My child ! my child ! " with sobs and tears 
She shriek'd upon his callous ears. 

" Come, Evan," said the trembling chief, — 
His bosom rung with pride and grief, — 
" Restore the boy, give back my son, 
And I'll forgive the wrong you've done." 

" I scorn forgiveness, haughty man ! 
You've injured me before the clan ; 
And nought but blood shall wipe away 
The shame I have endured to-da}'." 

And, as he spoke, he raised the child 
To dash it 'mid the breakers wild, 
But, at the mother's piercing cry, 
Drew back a step, and made reply : 

" Fair lady, if your lord will strip, 
And let a clansman wield the whip 
Till skin shall fla}^, and blood shall run, 
I'll give you back your little son." 

The lady's cheek grew pale with ire, 

The chieftain's e3'es flash'd sudden fire ; 

He drew a pistol from his breast, 

Took aim, — then dropp'd it, sore distress'd. 

" I might have slain my babe instead. 
Come, Evan, come," the father said, 
And through his heart a tremor ran ; 
" We'll fight our quarrel man to man." 

" Wrong unavenged I've never borne," 
Said Evan, speaking loud in scorn ; 
" You've heard my answer, proud Maclaine : 
I will not fight you, — think again." 



maclaine's child. 551 

The lacl}' stood in mote despair. 
With freezing blood and stiffening hair ; 
She moved no limb, she spoke no word ; 
She could but look upon her lord. 

He saw the quivering of her eye, 

Pale lips and speechless agon}- ; 

And, doing battle with his pride, 

u Give back the boy, — I yield," he cried. 

A storm of passions shook his mind, — 
Anger and shame and love combined; 
But love prevail'd, and, bending low, 
He bared his shoulders to the blow. 

"I smite you," said the clansman true : 
" Forgive me, chief, the deed I do ! 
For by yon Heaven that hears me speak, 
My dirk in Evan's heart shall reek ! " 

But Evan's face beam'd hate and joy ; 
Close to his breast he hugg'd the boy : 
" Revenge is just, revenge is sweet, 
And mine, Lochbuy, shall be complete." 

Ere hand could stir, with sudden shock 
He threw the infant o'er the rock, 
Then follow'cl with a desperate leap, 
Down fifty fathoms to the deep. 

They found their bodies in the tide ; 
And never till the day she died 
Was that sad mother known to smile, — ■ 
The Niobe of Mulla's isle. 

The} T dragg'd false Evan from the sea, 
And hang'd him on a gallows tree : 
And ravens fatten'd on his brain. 
To sate the vengeance of Maclaine. 



552 CHOICE READINGS. 

MOTHER ATO POET. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Browning. 
LAURA SAVIO, OF TURIN, AFTER NEWS FROM GAETA, 1861. 

Dead ! One of them shot by the sea in the east, 
And one of them shot in the west by the sea. 

Dead ! both my boys ! When you sit at the feast, 
And are wanting a great song for Italy free, 
Let none look at me ! 

Yet I was a poetess only last year, 

And good at my art, for a woman, men said ; 

But this woman, this, who is agonized here, 

The east sea and west sea rhyme on in her head 
For ever, instead. 

What art can a woman be good at ? O, vain ! 

What art is she good at, but hurting her breast 
With the milk-teeth of babes, and a smile at the pain? 

Ah, boys, how you hurt ! you were strong as you press'd, 
And I proud, by that test. 

What art's for a woman ? To hold on her knees 

Both darlings, to feel all their arms round her throat 

Cling, strangle a little ; to sew by degrees 

And broider the long clothes and neat little coat ; 
To dream and to doat ! 

To teach them, — It stings there ! I made them, indeed, 
Speak plain the word country. I taught them, no doubt, 

That a country's a thing men should die for at need. 
I prated of liberty, rights, and about 
The tyrant cast out. 

And, when their eyes flash'd, — O, my beautiful eyes ! — 

I exulted ; nay, let them go forth at the wheels 
Of the guns and denied not. But then the surprise 

When one sits quite alone ! Then one weeps, then one 
kneels ! 
God, how the house feels ! 



MOTHER AND POET. 553 

At first happy news came, — in gay letters, moil'd 
With my kisses, — of camp-life and glory, and how 

They both loved me ; and, soon coming home to be spoil'd, 
In return would fan off every fly from my brow 
With their green laurel bough. 

Then was triumph at Turin. Ancona was free ! 

And some one came out of the cheers in the street, 
With a face pale as stone, to say something to me : 

My Guido was dead ! I fell down at his feet, 
While they cheer 'd in the street. 

I bore it ; friends soothed me ; my grief look'd sublime 

As the ransom of Italy. One boy remain'd 
To be lean'd on and walk'd with, recalling the time 

When the first grew immortal, while both of us strain 'd 
To the height he had gain'd. 

And letters still came, shorter, sadder, more strong, 
Writ now but in one hand : I was not to faint, — 

One loved me for two, — would be with me ere long : 
And, " Viva V Italia ! he died for, — our saint, — 
Who forbids our complaint." 

My l^anni would add : he was safe, and aware 

Of a presence that turn'd off the balls, — was impress'd 

It was Guido himself, who knew what I could bear, 
And how 'twas impossible, quite dispossess'd, 
To live on for the rest. 

On which, without pause, up the telegraph line 
Swept smoothly the next news from Gaeta : Shot. 

Tell his mother. Ah, ah, "his," -'their" mother, not "mine"; 
No voice says " My mother " again to me. What ! 
You think Guido forgot ? 

Are souls straight so happy that, dizzy with Heaven, 
They drop Earth's affections, conceive not of woe ? 

I think not. Themselves were too lately forgiven 
Through that Love and Sorrow which reconciled so 
The Above and Below. 



554 CHOICE READINGS. 

O Christ of the seven wounds, who look'dst through the dark 
To the face of thy Mother ! consider, I pray, 

How we common mothers stand desolate, mark 

Whose sons, not being Christs, die with eyes turh'd away, 
And no last word to say. 

Both boys dead? but that's out of nature. We all 

Have been patriots, yet each house must always keep one. 

'Twere imbecile, hewing out roads to a wall ; 
And, when Italy's made, for what end is it done 
If we have not a son? 

Ah, ah, ah ! when Gaeta's taken what then? 

When the fair wicked queen sits no more at her sport 
Of the fire-balls of death, crashing souls out of men ? 

When the guns of Cavalli, with final retort, 
Have cut the game short ? 

When Venice and Rome keep their new jubilee, 

When your flag takes all heaven for its white, green, and red, 

When you have a country from mountain to sea, 
And King Victor has Italy's crown on his head, 
(And I have my dead,) — 

What then ? Do not mock me. Ah, ring your bells low, 
And burn your lights faintly ! My country is there, 

Above the star prick'd by the last peak of snow ; 
My Italy's there, with my brave civic pair, 
To disfranchise despair ! 

Forgive me. Some women bear children in strength, 
And bite back the cry of their pain in self-scorn ; 

But the birth-pangs of nations will wring us at length 
Into wail such as this ; and we sit on, forlorn, 
When the man-child is born. 

Dead ! One of them shot by the sea in the east, 
And one of them shot in the west by the sea. 

Both, both my boys ! If, in keeping the feast, 
You want a great song for your Italy free, 
Let none look at me ! 



PARRHASIUS THE CAPTIVE. 000 



PAEKHASIUS THE CAPTIVE. 

N. P. Willis. 

Parrhasius stood, gazing forgetfully 
Upon his canvas. There Prometheus lay, 
Chain'd to the cold rocks of Mount Caucasus, 
The vulture at his vitals, and the links 
Of the lame Lemnian festering in his flesh ; 
And, as the painter's mind felt through the dim, 
Rapt mystery, and pluck'd the shadows forth 
With its far-reaching fancy, and with form 
And colour clad them, his fine, earnest eye 
Flash'd with a passionate fire, and the quick curl 
Of his thin nostril, and his quivering lip, 
Were like the wing'd god's, breathing from his flight. 



" Bring me the captive now ! 
M} r hand feels skilful, and the shadows lift 
From my waked spirit airily and swift, 

And I could paint the bow 
Upon the bended heavens, — around me play 
Colours of such divinity to-day. 

Ha ! bind him on his back ! 
Look ! — as Prometheus in nry picture here ! 
Quick, or he faints ! — stand with the cordial near ! 

Now, — bend him to the rack ! 
Press down the poison'd links into his flesh ! 
And tear agape that healing wound afresh ! 

So, — let him writhe ! How long 
Will he live thus? Quick, my good pencil, now ! 
What a fine agon} 7 works upon his brow ! 

Ha ! gray-hair'd, and so strong ! 
How fearfully he stifles that short moan ! 
Gods ! if I could but paint a dying groan ! 



556 CHOICE READINGS. 

' Pity ' thee ! So I do ! 
I pity the dumb victim at the altar ; 
But does the robed priest for his pity falter ? . 

I'd rack thee, though I knew 
A thousand lives were perishing in thine : 
What were ten thousand to a fame like mine ? 

' Hereafter ! ' Ay, — hereafter ! 
A whip to keep a coward to his track ! 
What gave Death ever from his kingdom back 

To check the skeptic's laughter? 
Come from the grave to-morrow with that story 
And I may take some softer path to glory. 

No, no, old man ! we die 
Even as the flowers, and we shall breathe away 
Our life upon the chance wind, even as they ! 

Strain well thy fainting eye ; 
For when that bloodshot quivering is o'er, 
The light of heaven will never reach thee more. 

Yet there's a deathless name ! 
A spirit that the smothering vault shall spurn, 
And like a steadfast planet mount and burn ; 

And, though its crown of flame 
Consumed my brain to ashes as it shone, 
By all the fiery stars ! I'd bind it on. 

Ay, — though it bid me rifle 
My heart's last fount for its insatiate thirst ; 
Though every life-strung nerve be madden 'd first 

Though it should bid me stifle 
The yearning in my throat for my sweet child, 
And taunt its mother till my brain went wild ; — 

All, — I would do it all, — 
Sooner than die, like a dull worm, to rot, — 
Thrust foully into earth to be forgot ! 

O heavens ! — but I appal 



THE POLISH BOY. 00 

Your heart, old man ! forgive — ha ! on your lives 
Let him uot faint ! — rack him till he revives ! 

Vain, — vain. — give o'er ! His eye 
Glazes apace. He does not feel you now ; . 
Stand back ! I'll paint the death-dew on his brow ! 

Gods ! if he do not die 
But for one moment, — one, — till I eclipse 
Conception with the scorn of those calm lips ! 

Shivering ! Hark ! he mutters 
Brokenly now, — that was a difficult breath ; — 
Another? Wilt thou never come, O death ! 

Look ! how his temple nutters ! 
Is his heart still ? Aha ! lift up his head ! 
He shudders, — gasps, — Jove help him ! — so, he's dead. 

How like a mounting devil in the heart 
Rules the unrein'd ambition ! Let it once 
But play the monarch, and its haughty brow 
Glows with a beaut}' that bewilders thought 
And unthrones peace forever. Putting on 
The very pomp of Lucifer, it turns 
The heart to ashes, and with not a spring 
Left in the bosom for the spirit's lip, 
We look upon our splendour and forget 
The thirst of which we perish ! 



^C 



THE POLISH BOY. 

Abridged. 
Ann S. Stephens. 

Whence come those shrieks so wild and shrill, 
That cut, like blades of steel, the air, 

Causing the creeping blood to chill 
With the sharp cadence of despair? 



558 CHOICE READINGS. 

Again they come, as if a heart 

Were cleft in twain by one quick blow, 

And every string had voice apart 
To utter its peculiar woe. 

Whence came they? From yon temple, where 
An altar, raised for private prayer, 
Now forms the warrior's marble bed 
Who Warsaw's gallant armies led. 

The dim funereal tapers throw 
A holy lustre o'er his brow, 
And burnish with their ravs of light 
The mass of curls that gather bright 
Above the haughty brow and eye 
Of a young bo}~ that's kneeling by. 

What hand is that, whose icy press 

Clings to the dead with death's own grasp, 
But meets no answering caress? 

No thrilling fingers seek its clasp. 
It is the hand of her whose cry 

Rang wildly, late, upon the air, 
When the dead warrior met her eye 

Outstretch'd upon the altar there. 

With pallid lip and stony brow 
She murmurs forth her anguish now. 
But, hark ! the tramp of heavy feet 
Is heard along the bloody street ; 
Nearer and nearer yet the}' come, 
With clanking arms and noiseless drum. 
Now whisper'd curses, low and deep, 
Around the holy temple creep ; 
The gate is burst ; a ruffian band 
Rush in, and savagely demand, 
With brutal voice and oath profane, 
The startled boy for exile's chain. 



THE POLISH BOY. 559 

The mother sprang with gesture wild, 

And to her bosom clasp'd her child ; 

Then, with pale cheek and flashing eye, 

Shouted with fearful energy, 

" Back, ruffians, back ! nor dare to tread 

Too near the bod}' of my dead ; 

Nor touch the living boy ; I stand 

Between him and your lawless band. 

Take me, and bind these arms, — these hands, — 

With Russia's heaviest iron bands, 

And drag me to Siberia's wild 

To perish, if 'twill save my child ! " 

" Peace, woman, peace ! " the leader cried, 

Tearing the pale boy from her side 

And in his ruffian grasp he bore 

His victim to the temple door. 

" One moment ! " shriek'd the mother ; " one ! 

Will land or gold redeem my son ? 

Take heritage, take name, take all, 

But leave him free from Russian thrall ! 

Take these !" and her white arms and hands 

She stripp'd of rings and diamond bands, 

And tore from braids of long black hair 

The gems that gleam'd like starlight there ; 

Her cross of blazing rubies, last, 

Down at the Russian's feet she cast. 

He stoop'd to seize the glittering store : 

Up springing from the marble floor, 

The mother, with a cry of joy, 

Snatch' cl to her leaping heart the boy. 

But no ! the Russian's iron grasp 

Again undid the mother's clasp. 

Forward she fell, with one long cry 

Of more than mortal agony. 

But the brave child is roused at length, 
And, breaking from the Russian's hold. 



560 CHOICE READINGS. 

He stands, a giant in the strength 
Of his young spirit, fierce and bold ; 

Proudly he towers ; his flashing eye, 
So blue, and yet so bright, 

Seems kindled from th' eternal sky, 
So brilliant is its light. 

His curling lips and crimson cheeks 

Foretell the thought before he speaks ; 

With a full voice of proud command 

He turn'd upon the wondering band : 

"Ye hold me not ! no, no, nor can ; 
This hour has made the boy a man : 
The world shall witness that one soul 
Fears not to prove itself a Pole. 

I knelt beside my slaughter'd sire, 

Nor felt one throb of vengeful ire ; 

I wept upon his marble brow, — 

Yes, wept, — I was a child; but now 

My noble mother on her knee 

Has done the work of years for me. 

Although in this small tenement 

My soul is cramp'd, — unbow'd, unbent, 

Fve still within me ample power 

To free myself this very hour : 

This dagger in my heart ! and then 

Where is your boasted power, base men ? " 

He drew aside his broider'd vest, 

And there, like slumbering serpent's crest, 

The jewell'd haft of a poniard bright 

Glitter'd a moment on the sight. 

' ' Ha ! start ye back ? Fool ! coward ! knave ! 

Think ye nry noble father's glave 

Could drink the life-blood of a slave ? 

The pearls that on the handle flame 



VIRGINIA : A LAY OF ANCIENT ROME. 561 

Would blush to rubies in their shame : 
The blade would quiver iu thy breast, 
Ashamed of such ignoble rest ! 
No ; thus I rend thy tyrant's chain, 
And fling him back a boy's disdain ! " 

A moment, and the funeral light 
Flash'd on the jewell'd weapon bright ; 
Another, and his young heart's blood 
Leap'd to the floor a crimson flood. 
Quick to his mother's side he sprang, 
And on the air his clear voice rang, — 
" Up, mother, up ! I'm free ! I'm free ! 
The choice was death or slavery ; 
Up ! mother, up ! look on my face, 
I only wait for thy embrace. 
One last, last word, — a blessing, one, 
To prove thou know'st what I have done ! 
No look? no word? Canst thou not feel 
My warm blood o'er thy heart congeal? 
Speak, mother, speak, — lift up thy head. 
What ! silent still ? Then art thou dead ! 
Great God, I thank thee ! Mother, I 
Rejoice, with thee and thus, to die." 
Slowly he falls : the clustering hair 
Rolls back, and leaves that forehead bare : 
One long, deep breath, and his pale head 
Lay on his mother's bosom, dead. 



VIKGBTIA: A LAY OF ANCIENT EOME. 

Lord Macaulay. 

Over the Alban mountains the light of morning broke ; 

From all the roofs of the Seven Hills curPd the thin wreaths of 

smoke ; 
The city gates were open ; the Forum, all aliv< 



562 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

With buyers and with sellers, was humming like a hive ; 
And blithely young Virginia came smiling from her home, — 
Ah ! woe for young Virginia, the sweetest maid in Rome. 
With her small tablets fn her hand, and her satchel on her arm, 
Forth she went, bounding, to the school, nor dream'd of shame or 

harm 
She cross'd the Forum, shining with the stalls in alleys gay, 
And had just reach'd the very spot whereon I stand this day, 
When up the varlet Marcus came ; not such as when, erewhile, 
He crouch'd behind his patron's heels, with the true client smile : 
He came with louring forehead, swollen features, and clench'd fist, 
And strode across Virginia's path, and caught her by the wrist : 
Hard strove the frighten' d maiden, and scream'd with look aghast ; 
And at her scream from right to left the folk came running fast ; 
And the strong smith Mursena gave Marcus such a blow, 
The caitiff reel'd three paces back, and let the maiden go ; 
Yet glared he fiercely round him, and growl'd, in harsh fell tone, 
" She's mine, and I will have her : I seek but for mine own. 
She is my slave, born in my house, and stolen away and sold, 
The year of the sore sickness, ere she was twelve years old. 
I wait on Appius Claudius ; I waited on his sire : 
Let him who works the client wrong, beware the patron's ire ! " 
But, ere the varlet Marcus again might seize the maid, 
Who clung tight to Muraena's skirt, and sobb'd, and shriek'd for 

aid, 
Forth through the throng of gazers the young Icilius press'd, 
And stamp'd his foot, and rent his gown, and smote upon his 

breast, 
And beckon'd to the people, and, in bold voice and clear, 
Pour'd thick and fast the burning words which tyrants quake to 

hear. 

" Now, by your children's cradles, now, by your father's graves, 
Be men to-day, Quirites, or be for ever slaves ! 
Shall the vile fox-earth awe the race that storm'd the lion's den? 
Shall we, who could not brook one lord, crouch to the wicked Ten ? 
O, for that ancient spirit which curb'd the Senate's will ! 
O, for the tents which in old time whiten'd the Sacred Hill ! 
In those brave days, our fathers stood firmly side by side ; 
They faced the Marcian fury, they tamed the Fabian pride : 
But, look, the maiden's father comes, — behold Virginius here! " 



VIRGINIA: A LAY OF ANCIENT ROME. 563 

Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside, 

To where the reeking shambles stood, piled up with horn and hide ; 

Hard by, a flesher on a block had laid his whittle down ; 

Virginius caught the whittle up, and hid it in his gown ; 

And then his eyes grew very dim, and his throat began to swell, 

And in a hoarse, changed voice he spake, " Farewell, sweet child, 

farewell ! 
O, how I loved my darling ! Though stern I sometimes be, 
To thee, thou know'st, I was not so. "Who could be so to thee ? 
And how my darling loved me ! How glad she was to hear 
!My footsteps on the threshold, when I came back last year ! 
And how she danced with pleasure to see my civic crown, 
And took my sword, and hung it up, and brought me forth my 

gown ! 
Xow, all those things are over, — yes, all thy pretty ways, — 
Thy needle-work, thy prattle, thy snatches of old lays ; 
And none will grieve when I go forth, or smile when I return, 
Or watch beside the old man's bed, or weep upon his urn. — 
The time has come ! See, how he points his eager hand this way ! 
See, how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey. 
With all his wit he little deems that, spurn'd, betray'd, bereft, 
Thy father hath in his despair one fearful refuge left. 
He little deems that in this hand I clutch what still can save 
Thy gentle youth from taunts and blows, the portion of the slave ; 
Yea, and from nameless evil, that passeth taunt and blow, — 
Foul outrage which thou knowest not, — which thou shalt never 

know ! 
Then clasp me round the neck once more ; and give me one more 

kiss ; 
And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way — but — this ! " 
With that he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side. 
And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died ! 

When Appius Claudius saw that deed, he shudder'd and sank 

down, 
And hid his face, some little space, with the corner of his gown, 
Till, with white lips and blood-shot eyes, Tirginius totter'd nigh, 
And stood before the judgment-seat, and held the knife on high : 
" O ! dwellers in the nether gloom, avengers of the slain, 
By this dear blood I cry to you, do right between us twain ; 
And, even as Appius Claudius hath dealt by me and mine, 
Deal thou by Appius Claudius, and all the Claudian line ! " 



564 CHOICE READINGS. 

He writhed and gioan'd a fearful groan, and then with steadfast 

feet, 
Strode right across the market-place into the Sacred Street. 

Then rip sprang Appius Claudius : " Stop him, alive or dead ! 
Ten thousand pounds of copper to the man who brings his head ! " 
He look'd upon his clients, — but none would work his will ; 
He looked upon his lictors, — but they trembled and stood still ; 
And, as Virginius through the press his way in silence cleft, 
Ever the mighty multitude fell back to right and left : 
And he has pass'd in safety unto his woeful home, 
And there ta'en horse to tell the Camp what deeds are done in 
Borne. 



>^Cc 



WOUNDED. 

William E. Miller. 

Let me lie down 
Just here in the shade of this cannon-torn tree, 
Here, low on the trampled grass, where I may see 
The surge of the combat, and where I may hear 
The glad cry of victoiy, cheer upon cheer : 

Let me lie down. 

O, it was grand ! 
Like the tempest we charged, in the triumph to share ; 
The tempest, — its fury and thunder were there : 
On, on, -o'er intrenchments. o'er living and dead, 
With the foe under foot, and our flag overhead : 

O, it was grand ! 

Weary and faint, 
Prone on the soldier's couch, ah, how can I rest, 
With this shot-shatter'd head and sabre-pierced breast? 
Comrades, at roll-call when I shall be sought, 
Say I fought till I fell, and fell where I fought, 

Wounded and faint. 



WOUNDED. 565 

O, that last charge ! 
Right through the dread hell-fire of shrapnel and shell, 
Through without faltering, — clear through with a yell ! 
Right in their midst, in the turmoil and gloom, 
Like heroes we dash'cl, at the mandate of doom ! 

O, that last charge ! 

It was duty ! 
Some things are worthless, and some others so good 
That nations who buy them pay only in blood. 
For Freedom and Union each man owes his part ; 
And here I pay my share, all warm from my heart : 

It is duty. 

Dying at last ! 
My mother, dear mother ! with meek tearful e}'e, 
Farewell ! and God bless 30U, for ever and aye ! 
O that I now lay on your pillowing breast, 
To breathe my last sigh on the bosom first prest ! 

Dying at last ! 

Great Heaven ! this bullet-hole gapes like a grave ; 
A curse on the aim of the traitorous knave ! 
Is there never a one of you knows how to pray, 
Or speak for a man as his life ebbs away ? 

Pray ! Pray ! 
Our Father ! our Father ! why don't you proceed ? 
Can't you see I am dying? Great God, how I bleed ! 

Ebbing away ! 
Ebbing away ! The light of the day is turning to gra}\ 

Our Father in Heaven, — bo} T s tell me the rest, 

While I stanch the hot blood from this hole in my breast. 

There's something about the forgiveness of sin ; 

Put that in ! put that in ! — and theu 

I'll follow your words and say an amen. 

Here, Morris, old fellow, get hold of my hand, 
And, Wilson, my comrade, — O ! wasn't it grand 



566 CHOICE READINGS. 

When they came down the hill like a thunder-charged cloud, 
And were scatter'd like mist by our brave little crowd? 

I am dying ; bend down, till I touch you once more; 

Don't forget me, old fellow : God prosper this war ! 

Confusion to enemies ! — keep hold of nry hand, — 

Aud float our dear flag o'er a prosperous land ! 

Where's Wilson, — my comrade, — here, stoop down your 

head ; 
Can't you say a short prayer for the dying and dead ? 

Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in Earth, as it is in 
Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us 
our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil : For thine is the king- 
dom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 



THE WKECK OF THE HESPEEUS. 

H. W. Longfellow. 

It was the schooner Hesperus 

That sail'd the wintry sea ; 
And the skipper had taken his little daughter, 

To bear him company. 

Blue were her eyes as the fairy-flax, 
Her cheeks like the dawn of da} r , 

And her bosom white as the hawthorn buds 
That ope in the month of May. 

The skipper he stood beside the helm, 

His pipe was in his mouth, 
And he watch'd how the veering flaw did blow 

The smoke now west, now south. 



THE WRECK OF THE HESPERUS. 567 

Then up and spake an old sailor, — 

Had sail'd the Spanish main, — 
" I pray thee, put into yonder port, 

For I fear a hurricane. 

Last night the Moon had a golden ring, 

And to-night no Moon we see ! " 
The skipper, he blew a whiff from his pipe, 

And a scornful laugh laugh'd he. 

Colder and louder blew the wind, 

A gale from the north-east ; 
The snow fell hissing in the brine, 

And the billows froth'd like 3 T east. 

Down came the storm, and smote amain 

The vessel in its strength ; 
She shudder'd and paused, like a frighten'd steed, 

Then leap'd her cable's length. 

" Come hither ! come hither ! nry little daughter, 

And do not tremble so ; 
For I can weather the roughest gale, 

That ever wind did blow." 

He wrapp'd her warm in his seaman's coat 

Against the stinging blast ; 
He cut a rope from a broken spar, 

And bound her to the mast. 

" O father ! I hear the church-bells ring, 

O say, what ma} T it be ? " 
' ' 'Tis a fog-bell on a rock-bound coast ! " 

And he steer' d for the open sea. 

" O father ! I hear the sound of guns, 

O say what may it be ? " 
" Some ship in distress, that cannot live 

In such an angry sea ! " 



568 CHOICE READINGS. 

" O father ! I see a gleaming light, 

O say, what may it be ? " 
But the father answer'd never a word, 

A frozen corpse was he. 

Lash'd to the helm, all stiff and stark, 
With his face turn'd to the skies, 

The lantern gleam'd through the gleaming snow 
On his fix'd and glassy eyes. 

Then the maiden clasp'd her hands and pray'd, 

That saved she might be ; 
And she thought of Christ, who still' d the wave 

On the Lake of Galilee. 

And fast through the midnight dark and drear, 
Through the whistling sleet and snow, 

Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept 
Towards the reef of Norman's Woe. 

And ever, the fitful gusts between, 

A sound came from the land ; 
It was the sound of the trampling surf 

On the rocks and the hard sea-sand. 

The breakers were right beneath her bows, 

She drifted a dreary wreck, 
And a whooping billow swept the crew 

Like icicles from her deck. 

She struck where the white and fleecy waves 

Look'd soft as carded wool, 
But the cruel rocks, the}' gored her side 

Like the horns of an angiy bull. 

Her rattling shrouds, all sheath'd in ice, 
With the masts went by the board ; 

Like a vessel of glass, she stove and sank, 
Ho ! ho ! the breakers roar'd ! 



GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN. 569 

At daybreak, on the bleak sea-beach, 

A fisherman stood aghast, 
To see the form of a maiden fair 

Lash'd close to a drifting mast. 

The salt sea was frozen on her breast, 

The salt tears in her eves ; 
And he saw her hair, like the brown sea-weed, 

On the billows fall and rise. 

Such was the wreck of the Hesperus, 

In the midnight and the snow ! 
Christ save us all from a death like this, 

On the reef of Norman's Woe ! 

GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN. 

Will Carleton. 

John. 
I've work'd in the field all day, a-plowin' the " stony streak " ; 
I've scolded my team till I'm hoarse ; I've tramp'd till my legs are 

weak ; 
I've choked a dozen swears, (so's not to tell Jane fibs,) 
When the plow-pint struck a stone, and the handles punched my 

ribs. 

I've put my team in the barn, and rubb'd their sweaty coats ; 
I've fed 'em a heap of hay and half a bushel of oats ; 
And to see the way they eat makes me like eatin' feel, 
And Jane won't say to-night that I don't make out a meal. 

Well said ! the door is lock'd ! but here she's left the key 
Under the step, in a place known only to her and me : 
I wonder who's dyin' or dead, that she's hustled off pell-mell ; 
But here on the table's a note, and probably this will tell. 

Good God ! my wife is gone ! my wife is gone astray ! 

The letter it says, " Good-bye, for I'm a-going away ; 

I've lived with you six months, John, and so far I've been true; 

But I'm going away to-day with a handsomer man than you." 



570 CHOICE READINGS. 

A han'somer man than me ! Why, that ain't much to say ; 
There's han'somer men than me go past here every day : 
There's han'somer men than me, — I ain't of the han'some kind ; 
But a loven'er man than I was, I guess she'll never find. 

Curse her ! curse her ! I say, and give my curses wings ! 
May the words of love I've spoken be changed to scorpion stings ! 
O, she fill'd my heart with joy, she emptied my heart of doubt, 
And now, with a scratch of a pen, she lets my heart's blood out ! 

Curse her ! curse her ! say I, she'll some time rue this day ; 
She'll some time learn that hate is a game that two can play ; 
And long before she dies she'll grieve she ever was born, 
And I'll plow her grave with hate, and seed it down to scorn. 

As sure as the world goes on, there'll come a time when she 
Will read the devilish heart of that han'somer man than me ; 
And there'll be a time when he will find, as others do, 
That she who is false to one can be the same with two. 

And when her face grows pale, and when her eyes grow dim, 
And when he is tired of her and she is tired of him, 
She'll do what she ought to have done, and coolly count the cost ; 
And then she'll see things clear, and know what she has lost. 

And thoughts that are now asleep will w T ake up in her mind, 
And she will mourn and cry for what she has left behind ; 
And maybe she'll sometimes long for me, — for me ; but no ! 
I've blotted her out of my heart, and I will not have it so. 

And yet in her girlish heart there was somethin' or other she had 

That fasten'd a man to her, and wasn't entirely bad ; 

And she loved me a little, I think, although it didn't last ; 

But I mustn't think of these things, — I've buried em in the past. 

I'll take my hard words back, nor make a bad matter worse : 
She'll have trouble enough ; she shall not have my curse ; 
But I'll live a life so square, — and I well know that I can, — 
That she always will sorry be that she went with that han'somer 
man. 

Ah, here is her kitchen dress ! it makes my poor eyes blurr ; 
It seems, when I look at that, as if 'twas holdin' her. 



GONE WITH A HANDSOMER MAN. 571 

And here are her week-day shoes, and there is her week-day hat, 
And yonder's her weddin' gown : I wonder she didn't take that. 

'Twas only this mornin' she came and call'd me her " dearest dear," 
And said I was makin' for her a regular paradise here : 

God ! if you want a man to sense the pains of Hell, 
Before you pitch him in just»keep him in Heaven a spell ! 

Good-bye ! I wish that death had sever'd us two apart : 
You've lost a worshipper here, you've crush'd a lovin' heart. 
I'll worship no woman again ; but I guess I'll learn to pray, 
And kneel as you used to kneel, before you run away. 

And if I thought I could bring my words on Heaven to bear, 
And if I thought I had some little influence there, 

1 would pray that I might be, if it only could be so, 
As happy and gay as I was a half an hour ago. 

Jane (entering). 

Why, John, what a litter here ! you've thrown things all around ! 
Come, what's the matter now ? and what have you lost or found ? 
And here's my father here, a waiting for supper, too ; 
I've been a-riding with him, — he's that "handsomer man than 
you." 

Ha ! ha ! Pa, take a seat, while I put the kettle on, 

And get things ready for tea, and kiss my dear old John. 

Why, John, you look so strange ! come, what has cross'd your 

track ? 
I was only a-joking, you know, I'm willing to take it back. 

John (aside). 

Well, now, if this ain't a joke, with rather a bitter cream ! 
It seems as if I'd woke from a mighty ticklish dream ; 
And I think she " smells a rat," for she smiles at me so queer ; 
I hope she don't ; good gracious 1 I hope that they didn't hear ! 

'Twas one of her practical drives, she thought I'd understand ! 
But I'll never break sod again till I get the lay of the land. 
But one thing's settled with me, — to appreciate Heaven well, 
'lis sood for a man to have some fifteen minutes of Hell. 



572 CHOICE READINGS. 

THE VAGABONDS. 

J. T. Trowbridge. 

We are two travellers, Roger and I. 

Roger's m} T dog : — come here, you scamp ! 
Jump for the gentlemen, — mind your eye ! 

Over the table, — look out for the lamp ! — 
The rogue is growing a little old ; 

Five 3-ears we've tramp'd through wind and weather, 
And slept out-doors when nights were cold, 

And ate and drank — and starved together. 

We've learn'd what comfort is, I tell you ! 

A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin, 
A fire to thaw our thumbs, (poor fellow ! 

The paw he holds up there's been frozen,) 
Plenty of catgut for my fiddle, 

( This out-door business is bad for strings, ) 
Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle, 

And Roger and I set up for kings ! 

No, thank 3*e, sir, — I never drink ; 

Roger and I are exceedingly moral, — 
Aren't we, Roger ? — see him wink ! — 

Well, something hot, then, — we won't quarrel. 
He's thirst}', too, — see him nod his head? 

What a pity, sir, that dogs can't talk ! 
He understands every word that's said, 

And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk. 

The truth is, sir, now I reflect, 

I've been so sadly given to grog, 
I wonder I've not lost the respect 

(Here's to } T ou, sir!) even of nry dog. 
But he sticks by, through thick and thin ; 

And this old coat, with its empty pockets, 
And rags that smell of tobacco and gin, 

He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets. 



THE VAGABONDS. 573 

There isn't another creature living 

Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, 
80 fond, so faithful, and so forgiving, 

To such a miserable thankless master ! 
No, sir ! — see him wag his tail and grin ! 

By George ! it makes in}- old eyes water ! 
That is, there's something in this gin 

That chokes a fellow- But no matter ! 

"We'll have some music, if j'on're willing, 

And Roger (hem ! what a plague a cough is, sir !) 
Shall march a little. — Start, you villain ! 

Stand straight ! 'Bout face ! Salute your officer ! 
Put up that paw ! Dress ! Take your rifle ! 

(Some dogs have arms, you see.) Now hold your 
Cap, while the gentlemen give a trifle, 

To aid a poor old patriot-soldier. 

March ! Halt ! Now show how the rebel shakes, 

When he stands up to hear his sentence ; — 
Now tell us how many drams it takes 

To honour a jolly new acquaintance. 
Five yelps, — that's five ; he's mighty knowing ! 

The night's before us, fill the glasses ! — 
Quick, sir ! I'm ill, — my brain is going ! — 

Some brandy, — thank you, — there ! — it passes ! 

Why not reform? That's easily said ; 

But I've gone through such wretched treatment, 
Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread, 

And scarce remembering what meat meant, 
That my poor stomach's past reform ; 

And there are times when, mad with thinking, 
I'd sell out Heaven for something warm 

To prop a horrible inward sinking. 

Is there a way to forget to think ? 

At your age, sir, home, fortune, friends, 



574 CHOICE READINGS. 

A dear girl's love, — but I took to drink ; — 
The same old story ; you know how it ends. 

If you could have seen these classic features, — ■ 
You needn't laugh, sir ; they were not then 

Such a burning libel on God's creatures : 
I was one of your handsome men ! 

If you had seen her, so fair and 3 T oung, 

Whose head was happy on this breast ! 
If you could have heard the songs I sung 

When the wine went round, you wouldn't have guess'cl 
That ever I, sir, should be straying 

From door to door, with fiddle and dog, 
Ragged and penniless, and playing 

To you to-night for a glass of grog ! 

She's married since, — a parson's wife : 

'Twas better for her that we should part, — 
Better the soberest, prosiest life 

Than a blasted home and a broken heart. 
I have seen her? Once : I was weak and spent 

On the dust} 7 road, a carriage stopp'd : 
But little she dream'cl, as on she went, 

Who kiss'd the coin that her fingers dropp'd ! 

You've set me talking, sir ; I'm sorry ; 

It makes me wild to think of the change ! 
What do 3'ou care for a beggar's story ? 

Is it amusing? you find it strange? 
I had a mother so proud of me ! 

'Twas well she died before. — Do you know 
If the happy spirits in Heaven can see 

The ruin and wretchedness here below ? 

Another glass, and strong, to deaden 
This pain ; then Roger and I will start. 

I wonder, has he such a lumpish, leaden, 
Aching thing, in place of a heart? 



SEARCHING FOR THE SLAIN. 575 

He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could, 
No doubt, remembering things that were, — 

A virtuous kennel, with plenty of food, 
And himself a sober, respectable cur. 

I'm better now ; that glass was warming. — 

You rascal ! limber your lazy feet ! 
We must be fiddling and performing, 

For supper and bed, or starve in the street. — 
Not a very gay life to lead, you think? 

But soon we shall go where lodgings are free, 
And the sleepers need neither victuals nor drink ; — 

The sooner, the better for Roger and me ! 



SEAKGHItfG FOE THE SLAItf. 

Hold the lantern aside, and shudder not so ; 
There's more blood to see than this stain on the snow ; 
There are pools of it, lakes of it, just over there, 
And fix'd faces all streak'd, and crimson-soak'd hair. 
Did you think, when we came, you and I, out to-night 
To search for our dead, you would see a fair sight ? 

You're his wife ; you love him, — you think so ; and I 
Am only his mother : my boy shall not lie 
In a ditch with the rest, while my arms can bear 
His form to a grave that mine own may soon share. 
So, if your strength fails, best go sit by the hearth, 
While his mother alone seeks his bed on the earth. 

You will go ? then no f aintings ! Give me the light, 
And follow my footsteps, — my heart will lead right. 
Ah, God ! what is here ? a great heap of the slain, 
All mangled and gory ! — what horrible pain 
These beings have died in ! Dear mothers, ye weep, 
Ye weep, O, ye weep o'er this terrible sleep ! 



576 CHOICE READINGS. 

More ! more ! Ah ! I thought I could nevermore know 
Grief, horror, or pity, for aught here below. 
Since I stood in the porch and heard his chief tell 
How brave was my son, how he gallantly fell. 
Did they think I cared then to see officers stand 
Before my great sorrow, each hat in each hand ? 

Why, girl, do you feel neither reverence nor fright, 
That your red hands turn over toward this dim light 
These dead men that stare so? Ah, if you had kept 
Your senses this morning ere his comrades had left, 
You had heard that his place was worst of them all, — 
Not 'mid the stragglers, — where he fought he would fall. 

There's the Moon through the clouds : O Christ, what a scene ! 

Dost Thou from Thy Heavens o'er such visions lean, 

And still call this cursed world a footstool of Thine ? 

Hark, a groan ! there another, — here in this line 

Piled close on each other ! Ah ! here is the flag, 

Torn, dripping with gore ; — bah ! they died for this rag. 

Here's the voice that we seek : poor soul, do not start ! 

We're women, not ghosts. What a gash o'er the heart ! 

Is there aught we can do ? A message to give 

To any beloved one ? I swear, if I live, 

To take it for sake of the words my boy said, 

" Home," " mother," " wife," ere he reel'd down 'mong the dead. 

But, first, can you tell where his regiment stood ? 

Speak, speak, man, or point ; 'twas the Ninth. O, the blood 

Is choking his voice ! What a look of despair ! 

There, lean on my knee, while I put back the hair 

From eyes so fast glazing. O, my darling, my own, 

My hands were both idle when you died alone. 

He's dying, — he's dead ! Close his lids, let us go. 
God's peace on his soul ! If we only could know 
Where our own dear one lies ! — my soul has turn'd sick ; 
Must we crawl o'er these bodies that lie here so thick ? 
I cannot ! I cannot ? How eager you are ! 
One might think you were nursed on the red lap of War. 



CLAUDIUS AND CYNTHIA. o t i 

He's not here, — and not here. What wild hopes flash through 

My thoughts, as foot-deep I stand in this dread dew, 

And cast up a prayer to the blue quiet sky ! 

Was it you, girl, that shriek'd? Ah ! what face doth lie 

Upturn* d toward me there, so rigid and white? 

God, my brain reels ! 'Tis a dream. My old sight 

Is dimrn'd with these horrors. My son ! O my son ! 
Would I had died for thee, my own, only one ! 
There, lift off your arms ; let him come to the breast 
Where first he was lull'd, with my soul's hymn, to rest. 
Your heart never thrill'd to your lover's fond kiss 
As mine to his baby-touch : was it for this? 

He was yours, too ; he loved you ? Yes, yes, you're right ; 
Forgive me, my daughter, I'm madden'd to-night. 
Don't moan so, dear child ; you're youug, and your years 
May still hold fair hopes ; but the old die of tears. 
Yes. take him again ; — ah ! don't lay your face there ; 
See, the blood from his wound has stain'd your loose hair. 

How quiet you are ! — Has she fainted? — her cheek 

Is cold as his own. Say a word to me, — speak ! 

Aid I crazed? Is she dead? Has her heart broke first? 

Her trouble was bitter, but sure mine is worst. 

I'm afraid, I'm afraid, all alone with these dead ; 

Those corpses are stirring ; God help my poor head ! 

I'll sit by my children until the men come 

To bury the others, and then we'll go home. 

Why, the slain are all dancing ! Dearest, don't move. 

Keep away from my boy; he's guarded by love. 

Lullaby, lullaby ; sleep, sweet darling, sleep ! 

God and thy mother will watch o'er thee keep. 



CLAUDIUS AND CYNTHIA. 

Maurice Thompson. 

It was in the mid-splendour of the reign of the Emperor 
Commodus. Especially desirous of being accounted the best 
swordsman and the most fearless gladiator of Rome, he still 



578 CHOICE READINGS. 

better enjoyed the reputation of being the incomparable 
archer. No one had ever been able to compete with him. 
His success had rendered him a monomaniac on the subject 
of archery, affecting him so deeply indeed that he cared more 
for his fame as a consummate bowman than for the dignity anc 
honour of his name as Emperor of Rome. This being true, it 
can well be understood how Claudius, by publicly boasting 
that he was a better archer than Commodus, had brought 
upon himself the calamity of a public execution. 

But not even Nero would have thought of bringing the 
girl to her death for the fault of the lover. 

Claudius and his 3'oung bride had been arrested together 
at their wedding-feast, and dragged to separate dungeons to 
await the emperor's will. The rumour was abroad that a most 
startling scene would be enacted in the circus. The result 
was that all the* seats were filled with people eager to wit- 
ness some harrowing scene of death. 

Commodus himself, surrounded b} T a great number of his 
favourites, sat on a richly-cushioned throne about midway one 
side of the enclosure. All was still, as if the multitude were 
breathless with expectancy. Presently out from one of the 
openings Claudius and his young bride — their hands bound 
behind them — were led forth upon the arena and forced to 
walk around the entire circumference of the place. 

The youth was tall and nobly beautiful, a very Hercules 
in form, an Apollo in grace and charm of movement. His 
hair was blue-black and crisp, his eyes were dark and proud. 
The girl was petite and lovely beyond compare. Her eyes 
were gray and deep as those of a goddess ; her hair was pure 
gold, falling to her feet, and trailing behind her as she 
walked. 

Both were nude excepting a short girdle reaching to the 
knees. 

At length the giant circuit was completed, and the two 
were left standing on the sand about one hundred and 
twenty feet from the emperor, who now arose and in a loud 
voice said : 



CLAUDIUS AND CYNTHIA. 579 

" Behold the condemned Claudius, and Cynthia whom he 
lately took for his wife. They are condemned for the great 
folly of Claudius, that the Roman people may know that Corn- 
modus reigns supreme. The crime for which they are to die 
is a great one. Claudius has publicly proclaimed that he is 
a better archer than I, Commodus, am. I am the Emperor 
and the incomparable archer of Rome : whoever disputes it 
dies, and his wife dies with him. It is decreed." 

It was enough to touch the heart of even a Roman to see 
the innocence of that fair girl's face, as she turned it up in 
speechless, tearless, appealing grief and anguish to that of 
her husband. Her pure bosom heaved and quivered with the 
awful terror suddenly generated within. 

The youth, erect and powerful, set his thin lips firmly and 
kept his eyes looking straight out before him. Man}- knew 
him as a trained athlete and especially as an almost unerring- 
archer : they knew him too, as a brave soldier, a true friend, 
an honourable citizen. Little time remained for such reflec- 
tions as might have arisen, for immediately a large cage, 
containing two fiery-eyed and famished tigers, was brought 
into the circus and placed before the victims. The hungry 
beasts were excited to madness by the smell of fresh blood, 
which had been smeared on the bars of the cage for that 
purpose. They growled and howled, lapping their fiery 
tongues and plunging against the door. 

A murmur of remonstrance and disgust ran all around that 
vast ellipse, for now every one saw that the spectacle was to 
be a foul murder, without even the show of a struggle. 

The alert eyes of Commodus were bent on the crouching 
beasts. 

At the same time he noted well the restlessness and disap- 
pointment of the people. He understood his subjects, and 
knew how to excite them. The limbs of the poor girl had 
begun to give way under her. and she was slowly sinking to 
the ground. This seemed greatly to affect Claudius, who, 
without lowering his fixed eyes, tried to support her with his 
body. Despite his efforts she fell in a helpless heap at his 



580 CHOICE READINGS. 

feet. The lines on his manly brow deepened, and a slight 
ashy pallor flickered on brow and e3'elicls. But he did not 
tremble. He stood like a statue of Hercules. Then a 
sound came from the cage which no words can describe, — the 
hungry howl, the clashing teeth, the hissing breath of the 
tigers, along with the sharp clang of the iron bars spurned 
by their rushing feet. The circus fairly shook with the 
plunge of death toward its victims. Suddenly, in this last 
moment, the maiden, b}^ a great effort, writhed to her feet, 
and covered the youth's body with her own. Such love ! 
It should have sweetened death to that j'oung man. How 
his eyes flame, immovably fixed upon the coming demons ! 
Those who have often turned up their thumbs in this place 
for men to die, now hold their breath in utter disgust and 
sympathy. 

Look for a brief moment upon the picture ; fiftj' thousand 
faces thrust forward gazing ; — the helpless couple lost to 
every thing but the black horrors of death, quivering from 
from head to foot. Note the spotless beauty and unselfish 
love of the girl. Mark well the stern power of the young 
man's face. Think of the marriage vows just taken, of the 
golden bowl of bliss a moment ago at their young lips. And 
now, O, now look at the bounding tigers ! See how one 
leads the other in the awful race to the feast. The girl is 
nearer than the man. She will feel the claws and fangs 
first. How wide those red, frothing mouths gape ! How 
the red tongues loll ! The sand flies up in a cloud from the 
armed feet of the leaping brutes. ^-'' 

There came from the place where Commodus stood a clear 
musical note, such as might have come from the gravest 
cord of a lyre, if powerfully stricken, closely followed by a 
keen, far-reaching hiss, like the whisper of fate, ending in a 
heavy blow. The multitude caught breath and stared. 

The foremost tiger, while yet in mid-air, curled itself up 
with a gurgling cry of utter pain, and with the blood gush- 
ing from its e} T es, ears, and mouth, fell heavily down dying. 
Aoain the sweet, insinuating twano- the hiss, the stroke. 



CLAUDIUS AND CYNTHIA. 581 

The second beast fell dead or dying upon the first. This 
explained all. The Emperor had demonstrate d his right to 
be called the Royal Bowman of the World. 

Had the tjrant been content to rest here, all would have 
been well. 

While yet the beasts were struggling with death lie gave 
orders for a shifting of the scenes. He was insatiable. 

For the first time during the ordeal the youth's e3~es moved. 
The girl, whose back was turned toward the beasts, was still 
waiting for the crushino- horror of their assault. 

A soldier now approached the twain, and, seizing the arm 
of each, led them some paces further away from the Emperor, 
where he stationed them facing each other, and with their 
sides to Commodus, who was preparing to shoot again. 

Before drawing his bow, he cried aloud, " Behold, Com- 
modus will pierce the centre of the ear of each ! " 

The lovers were gazing into each other's eyes still as stat- 
ues, as if frozen by the cold fascination of death. Commo- 
dus drew his bow with tremendous power, fetching the cord 
back to his breast, where for a moment it was held without 
the faintest quiver of a muscle. His eyes were fixed and 
cold as steel. 

The arrow fairly shrieked through the air, so swift was its 
flight. 

The girl, filled with ineffable pain, flung up her white arms, 
the rent thongs flying away in the paroxysms of her final 
struggle. The arrow struck in the sand be3 T ond. Something- 
like a divine smile flashed across her face. Again the bow- 
string rang, and the arrow leaped awa}~ to its thrilling work. 
What a surge the youth made ! The cord leaped from his 
wrists, and he clasped the falling girl in his embrace. All 
ejes saw the arrow hurling along the sand after its mission 
was done. Commodus stood like fate, leaning forward to 
note the perfectness of his execution. His eyes blazed with 
eager, heartless triumph. 

" Lead them out, and set them free, and tell it everywhere 
that Commodus is the incomparable bowman." 



582 CHOICE READINGS. 

And then, when all at once it was discovered that he had 
not hurt the lovers, but had merely cut in two with his arrows 
the cords that bound their wrists, a great stir began, and out 
from a myriad overjoyed and admiring hearts leaped a storm 
of thanks, while> with the clash and bra} T of musical instru- 
ments, and with voices like the voices of winds and seas, and 
with a"clapping of hands like the rending roar of tempests, 
the vast audience arose as one person, and applauded the 
Emperor. 

SCOTLAND'S MAIDEN MARTYR, 

" Baltimore: Elocutionist." 

A troop of soldiers waited at the door, 
A crowd of people gather'd in the street, 
Aloof a little from them sabres gleam'd, 
And flash'd into their faces. Then the door 
Was open'd, and two women meekly stepp'd 
Into the sunshine of the sweet May-noon, 
Out of the prison. One was weak and old, 
A woman full of tears and full of woes ; 
The other was a maiden in her morn ; 
And they were one in name and one in faith, 
Mother and daughter in the bond of Christ, 
That bound them closer than the ties of blood. 

The troop moved on ; and down the sunny street 
The people follow'd, ever falling back 
As in their faces flash'd the naked blades. 
But in the midst the women simply went 
As if they two were walking, side by side, 
Up to God's house on some still Sabbath morn ; 
Only they were not clad for Sabbath day, 
But as they went about their daily tasks : 
They went to prison and they went to death, 
Upon their Master's service. 

On the shore 
The troopers halted ; all the shining sands 
Lay bare and glistering ; for the tide had 
Drawn back to its farthest margin's weedy mark; 
And each succeeding wave, with flash and curve, 
That seem'd to mock the sabres on the shore, 
Drew nearer by a hand-breadth. " It will be 
A long day's work," murmur'd those murderous men, 



Scotland's maiden martyr. 583 

As they slack'd rein. The leader of the troops 
Dismounted, and the people passing near 
Then heard the pardon proffer'd, with the oath 
Renouncing and abjuring part with all 
The persecuted, covenanted folk. 
But both refused the oath; "because," they said, 
" Unless with Christ's dear servants we have part, 
We have no part with Him." 

On this they took 
The elder Margaret, and led her out 
Over the sliding sands, the weedy sludge, 
The pebbly shoals, far out, and fasten'd her 
Unto the farthest stake, already reach'd 
By every rising wave, and left her there : 
And as the waves crept round her feet, she pray'd 
" That He would firm uphold her in their midst, 
Who holds them in the hollow of His hand." 

The tide flow'd in. And up and down the shore 
There paced the Provost and the Laird of Lag, — 
Grim Grierson , — with Windram and with Graham ; 
And the rude soldiers, jesting with coarse oaths, 
As in the midst the maiden meekly stood, 
Waiting her doom delay'd, said " she would 
Turn before the tide, — seek refuge in their arms 
From the chill waves." But ever to her lips 
There came the wondrous words of life and peace : 
" If God be for us, who can be against ? " 
" Who shall divide us from the love of Christ ? " 
" aSTor height, nor depth, nor any other creature." 

From the crowd 
A woman's voice cried a very bitter cry, — 
" O Margaret ! my bonnie, bonnie Margaret ! 
Gie in, gie in, my bairnie, dinna ye drown, 
Gie in, and tak' the oath." 

The tide flow'd in ; 
And so wore on the sunny afternoon; 
And every fire went out upon the hearth, 
And not a meal was tasted in the town that day. 
And still the tide was flowing in : 
Her mother's voice yet sounding in her ear, 
They turn'd young Margaret's face towards the sea, 
Where something white was floating, — something 
White as the sea-mew that sits upon the wave : 
But as she look'd it sank ; then show'd again ; 
Then disappear'd ; and round the shore 
And stake the tide stood ankle-deep. 



584 CHOICE HEADINGS. 

Then Grierson 
With cursing vow'd that he would wait 
No more ; and to the stake the soldier led her 
Down, and tied her hands; and round her 
Slender waist too roughly cast the rope, for 
Windram came and eased it while he whisper'd 
In her ear, " Come take the test, and ye are free " ; 
And one cried, " Margaret, say but God save 
The King ! " " God save the King of His great grace," 
She answer'd, but the oath she would not take. 

And still the tide flow'd in, 
And drove the people back and silenced them. 
The tide flow'd in, and rising to her knees, 
She sang the psalm, " To Thee I lift my soul " ; 
The tide flow'd in, and rising to her waist, 
" To Thee, my God, [ lift my soul," she sang. 
The tide flow'd in, and rising to her throat, 
She sang no more, but lifted up her face, 
And there was glory over all the sky, 
And there was glory over all the sea, — 
A flood of glory, — and the lifted face 
Swam in it till it bow'd beneath the flood, 
And Scotland's Maiden Martyr went to God. 

JOHNNY BAKTHOLOMEW. 

Thomas Dunn English. 

The journals this morning are full of a tale 
Of a terrible ride through a tunnel by rail ; 
And people are call'd on to note and admire 
How a hundred or more, through the smoke-cloud and fire, 
Were borne from all peril to limbs and to lives, — 
Mothers saved to their children, and husbands to wives. 
But of him who perform'd such a notable deed 
Quite little the journalists give us to read : 
In truth, of this hero so plucky and bold, 
There is nothing except, in few syllables told, 
His name, which is Johnny Bartliolomeiv. 

Away in Nevada, — they don't tell us where, 
Nor does it much matter, — a railway is there, 
Which winds in and out through the cloven ravines, 
With glimpses at times of the wildest of scenes ; 
Now passing a bridge seeming fine as a thread, 
Now shooting past cliffs that impend o'er the head, 
Now plunging some black-throated tunnel within, 
Whose darkness is roused at the clatter and din; 



JOHXST BARTHOLOMEW. 

And ran every day with its train o'er the road 
An engine that steadily dragg'd on its load. 

1 was driven by Johnny Bartholomew. 

With throttle-valve down, he was slowing the train. 
While the sparks fell around and behind him like rain. 
As he came to a spot where a curve to the right 
I :^ht the black, yawning month of a tunnel in sight ; 
And. peering ahead with a far-seeing ken. 

quick sen — : langei ::> me over him then. 

a train on the track . No! A peril as dire. — 
The further extreme of the tunnel on fire 

the volume : a ke, as it _.Yiher"d and roll ':".. 
Shook fearful dismay from each dun-eolourd fold, 
But daunted not Johnny Bartholomew. 

stei his heart, though its mrrent -tood still. 
And his nerves felt a jar but no tremulous thrill: 
And his eyes keenly gleam'd through their partly-closed lashes, 
And his lips — not with fear — took the colour of ashes. 
•■ H we falter, these people behind - lead! 

So close the doors, fireman : we'll send her ah 

1 on the steam till she rattles and swin_ - 
I'll open the throttle-valve Well give her her wings 

-d he from his post in the engineer's : om, 
Driving onward perchance to a terrible doom. 
is man they call Johnny Bartholonir . 

Firm grasping the throttle and holding his breath. 
On, on through the Vale of the Shadow of Death. 
On. on through that horrible cavern of . 
Through flames that arose and through timbers that fell, 
Through the eddying smoke and the serj ents :: lire 
That writhed and that hiss'd in their anguish and ire, 

ad a roar like the wild tempest's blast. 
To the free air beyond them in safety they pc 
While the clang ot the bell and the steam-pipe's shrill yell 
. 1 the joy at escape from that underground hell, 
: the man they call'd Johnny Bartholomew. 

tepe ssengers get up : service :: plate I 

- :>me oily-tongued orator at the man prate 
Women kiss him Y nng children cling fast to his knees . 
Stout men in their rapture his brown fin_ ei b squeeze 1 
And where was he born? Is he h Has he 

ife for his bosom, a child for his k:> 
Is he young? Is he old 1 ? Is he tall? Is he sh::: 
V ell, la ties, ..e journals tell nought of the sort: 
And all that they give us about him to-day, 
Aftei : ^ling the tale in a common place way, 

1^ — the man's name is Johnnv Bartholom- . 



586 CHOICE READINGS. 

XIV. 

SCENES FROM POPULAR DRAMAS. 



THE HUNCHBACK. 

James Sheridan Knowles. 



Act I. Scene II. 

Characters : Julia and her companion Helen. 

Scene : The garden of Master Walter's house. Town and 
country life compared. Julia tells of her loving guardian, 
Master Walter. 

Enter Julia and Helen. 

Hel. I like not, Julia, this your country life ; 
I'm weary on't. 

Jul. Indeed ? So am not I ! 

I know no other ; would no other know. 

Hel. You would no other know ! Would you not know 
Another relative ? — another friend, 
Another house, another an} T thing, 
Because the ones you have already please you ? 
That's poor content ! Would you not be more rich, 
More wise, more fair? The song that last \ovl learn'd 
You fancy well ; and therefore shall you learn 
No other song? Your virginals, 'tis true, 
Hath a sweet tone ; but does it follow thence, 
You shall not have another virginals? 
You may, love, and a sweeter one ; and so 
A sweeter life may find than this you lead ! 



THE HUNCHBACK. 587 

Jul. I seek it not. Helen, I'm constancy! 

Hel. So is a cat, a dog, a silly hen, 
An owl, a bat, that still sojourn where they 
Are wont to lodge, nor care to shift their quarters. 
Thou'rt constancy? I'm glad I know thy name ! 
The spider comes of the same family, 
That in his meshy fortress spends his life, 
Unless 3 T ou pull it down, and scare him from it. 
And so, in veiy deed, thou'rt constanc}' ! 

Jul. Helen, you know the adage of the tree: 
I've ta'en the bend. This rural life of mine, 
Enjoin'd me by an unknown father's will, 
I've led from infancy. Debarr'd from hope 
Of chano-e, I ne'er have sio-h'd for change. The town 
To me was like the Moon, for an}- thought 
I e'er should visit it ; nor was I school' d 
To think it half so fair ! 

Hel. Not half so fair ! 

The town's the Sun, and thou hast dwelt in night 
E'er since tlry birth, not to have seen the town I 
Their women there are queens, and kings their men ; 
Their houses palaces ! 

Jul. And what of that ? 

Have your town-palaces a hall like this ? 
Couches so fragrant? walls so high-adorn'd? 
Casements with such festoons, such prospects, Helen, 
As these fair vistas have ? Your kings and queens ! 
See me a Ma}--clay queen, and talk of them ! 

Mel. Extremes are ever neighbours. 'Tis a step 
From one to th' other ! Were thy constancy 
A reasonable thing, — a little less 
Of constancy, — a woman's constancy, — 
I should not wonder wert thou ten years hence 
The maid I know thee now ; but, as it is, 
The odds are ten to one, that this da} T year 
Will see our May-day queen a city one. 



588 CHOICE READINGS. 

Jul. Never ! I'm wedded to a country life : 
O, did you hear what Master Walter says ! 
Nine times in ten, the town's a hollow thing, 
Where what things are, is nought to what the} T show; 
W r here merit's name laugh's merit's self to scorn ; 
Where friendship and esteem, that ought to be 
The tenants of men's hearts, lodge in their looks 
And tongues alone ; where little virtue, with 
A costly keeper, passes for a heap, — 
A heap for none, that has a homely one ; 
Where fashion makes the law, — your umpire which 
You bow to, whether it has brains or not; 
Where Folly taketh off his cap and bells, 
To clap on Wisdom, which must bear the jest ; 
Where, to pass current, you must seem the thing, 
The passive thing, that others think, and not 
Your simple, honest, independent self. 

Hel. Ay ; so says Master Walter. See I not 
What 3'ou can find in Master Walter, Julia, 
To be so fond of him ! 

Jul. He's fond of me. 

I've known him since I was a child. E'en then 
The week I thought a wean 7 , heavy one, 
That brought not Master Walter. I had those 
About me then that made a fool of me, 
As children oft are fool'd ; but more I loved 
Good Master Walter's lesson than the play 
With which they'd surfeit me. As I grew up, 
More frequent Master Walter came, and more 
I loved to see him. I had tutors then, 
Men of great skill and learning ; but not one 
That taught like Master Walter. What they'd show me, 
And I, dull as I was, but doubtful saw, 
A word from Master Walter made as clear 
As day-light. When my schooling-days were o'er, — 
That's now good three years past, — three years, — I vow 



THE HUNCHBACK. 589 

I'm twenty, Helen ! — well, as I was saying, 
When I had done with school, and all were gone, 
Still Master Walter came ; and still he comes. 
Summer or Winter, frost or rain. I've seen 
The snow upon a level with the hedge, 
Yet there was Master Walter ! 

[ Master Walter and Sir Thomas Clifford in the distance. 

Hel. Who comes here? 

A carriage, and a gay one ; — who alights? 
Pshaw ! Only Master Walter ! What see you, 
Which thus repairs the arch of the fair brow, 
A frown was like to spoil ? — A gentleman ! 
One of our town kings ! Mark, — how say you now? 
Wonldst be a town queen, Julia? Which of us, 
I wonder, comes he for? 

Jul. For neither of us ; 

He's Master Walter's clerk, most like. 

Hel. Most like ! 

Mark him as he comes up the avenue : 
So looks a clerk ! A clerk has such a gait ! 
So does a clerk dress, Julia ; mind his hose, — 
They're very like a clerk's ! a diamond loop 
And button, note you, for his clerkship's hat: 
O, certainly a clerk ! See, Julia, see, 
How Master Walter bows, and yields him place, 
That he may first go in, — a very clerk ! 

Jul. I wonder who he is. 

Hel. Wonldst like to know ? 

Would st, for a fancy, ride to town with him? 
I prophesy he comes to take thee thither. 

Jul. He ne'er takes me to town. No, Helen, no, 
To town who will ; a country life for me ! 

Hel. We'll see. [Exeunt. 



590 CHOICE READINGS. 

Act I. Scene III. 

An Apartment in Master Walter's House. 

Characters : Julia and Clifford. Love at first sight. 
Sir Thomas Clifford wooes a rural maid. 

Enter Julia followed by Clifford. 

Jul. No more ! I pray } t ou, sir, no more ! 

Clif. I love you ! 

Jul. You mock me, sir ! 

Clif. Then there is no such thing 

On Earth as reverence. Honour filial, the fear 
Of kings, the awe of Supreme Heaven itself, 
Are only shows and sounds that stand for nothing. 
I love you. 

Jul. You have known me scarce a minute. 

Clif. Say but a moment, still I say I love you. 
Love's not a flower that grows on the dull earth ; 
Springs b} T the calendar ; must wait for sun, 
For rain ; matures by parts, — must take its time 
To stem, to leaf, to bud, to blow. It owns 
A richer soil, and boasts a quicker seed : 
You look for it, and see it not, and, lo ! 
E'en while you look, the peerless flower is up, 
Consummate in the birth ! 

Jul. You're from the town : 

How comes it, sir, 3'ou seek a country wife ? 

Clif. In joining contrasts lieth love's delight. 
Complexion, stature, Nature mateth it, 
Not with their kinds, but with their opposites. 
Hence hands of snow in palms of russet lie ; 
The form of Hercules affects the sylph's, 
And breasts that case the lion's fear-proof heart 
Find their loved lodge in arms where tremors dwell. 



THE HUNCHBACK. 591 

So is't with habits ; therefore I, indeed, 
A gallant of the town, the town forsake, 
To win a country bride. 

Jul. Who marries me, 

Must lead a countiw life. 

Clif. The life I love ! 

But fools would fly from it ; for, O, 'tis sweet ! 
It finds the heart out, be there one to find, 
And corners in't where stores of pleasures lodge, 
"We never dream' d were there ! It is to dwell 
'Mid smiles that are not neighbours to deceit ; 
Music whose melody is of the heart, 
Freely discoursed ; to live on life, and feel 
The soul of Nature throbbing to our own ; 
To con God's mere}', bounty, wisdom, power, 
And see Him nearer us. 

Jul. [Aside.'] How like he talks 

To Master Walter ! Shall I give it o'er? 
Not yet. — Thou wouldst not live one-half a year : 
A quarter mightst thou for the novelty 
Of fields and trees ; but then it needs must be 
In summer time, when they go dress'd. 

Clif. Not it ! 

In an}- time, — say Winter. Fields and trees 
Have charms for me in very winter time. 

Jul, But snow may clothe them then. 

Clif. I like them full 

As well in snow. 

Jul. You do? 

Clif I do. 

Jul. But night 

Will hide both snow and them ; and that sets in 
Ere afternoon is out. A heavy thing, 
A country fireside in a Winter's night, 
To one bred in the town, where Winter's said 
To beggar shining Summer. 



592 CHOICE READINGS. 

Clif. I should like 

A countiy Winter's night especially ! 

Jul. You'd sleep by th' fire. 

Clif. Not I ; I'd talk to thee. 

Jul. You'd tire of that ! 

Clif. I'd read to thee. 

Jul. And that ! 

Clif. I'd talk to thee again. 

Jul. And sooner tire 

Than first you did, and fall asleep at last. 

Clif. You deal too hardly with me ! Matchless maid, 
As loved instructor brightens dullest wit, 
Fear not to undertake the charge of me : 
A willing pupil kneels to thee, and lays 
His title and his fortune at 3*our feet. [Exeunt. 



Act IV. Scene II. 

Julia, the rural maid, becomes a city belle. She embraces 
visions of pleasure, high life, and extravagance. Her lover, 
Sir Thomas Clifford, tvho accidentally overhears Julia boast- 
ing of her extravagance, reproves her, whereupon she becomes 
offended. Soon after this Sir Thomas loses his fortune, and 
becomes Secretary to the Earl of Rochdale, who is also a 
suitor for the hand of Julia. She, in a fit of offended pride, 
accepts Rochdale, though in truth she loves Clifford. 

Banqueting -Room in the Earl of Rochdale's Mansion. 

A letter from the Earl of Rochdale to Julia, delivered by 
the poor Secretary, Sir Thomas Clifford. Bitter anguish 
of Julia. Love overcomes pride, and Clifford wins. 

Jul. [Alone."] A wedded bride ! 

Is it a dream? O, would it were a dream ! 
How would I bless the Sun that waked me from it ! 



THE HUNCHBACK. 593 

I'm wreck'd ! By mine own act ! What ! no escape ? 

None : I must e'en abide these hated nuptials : 

Hated? A}'! own it, and then curse tlryself 

That madest the bane thou loathest, for the love 

Thou bear'st to one who never can be thine ! 

Yes, love ! Deceive thyself no longer. False 

To say 'tis pity for his fall ; respect 

Engender'd by a hollow world's disdain ; 

'Tis none of these : 'tis love, — or, if not love, 

Why, then idolatry ! Ay, that's the name 

To speak the broadest, deepest, strongest passion 

That ever woman's heart was borne away by. 

He comes ! Thou'dst play the lady, — play it now ! 

Enter a Servant, conducting Clifford attired us Roch- 
dale's Secretary. 

Serv. His Lordship's Secretary. [Exit. 

Jul. [Aside.'] Speaks he not? 

Or does he wait for orders to unfold 
His business ? Stopp'd his business till I spoke, 
I'd hold my peace forever. 

[Clifford kneels, presenting a letter. 
Does he kneel ? 
A lady am I to nn T heart's content ! 
Could he unmake me that which claims his knee, 
I'd kneel to him, — I would, I would ! — Your will? 
Clif. This letter from my Lord. 

Jul. O fate ! who speaks ? 

Clif. The Secretaiy of my Lord. 
Jul. [Aside. ~\ I breathe ! 

I could have sworn 'twas he. 

[Makes an effort to looli at him, but cannot. 
So like the voice — 
I dare not look, lest there the form should stand. 
How came he by that voice? 'Tis Clifford's voice, 



594 CHOICE READINGS. 

If ever Clifford spoke. My fears come back, — 

Clifford the Secretary of my Lord ! 

Fortune hath freaks ; but none so mad as that. 

It cannot be — it should not be ; a look, 

And all were set at rest. [Tries again, but cannot. 

So strong my fears, 
Dread to confirm them takes away the power 
To try and end them. Come the worst, I'll look. 

[She tries again, and is again unequal to the task. 
I'd sink before him, if I met his eye. 

Clif. Will' t please your ladj'ship to take the letter ? 

Jul. [Aside.'] There Clifford speaks again! Not Clif- 
ford's heart 
Could more make Clifford's voice ; not Clifford's tongue 
And lips more frame it into Clifford's speech. 
A question, and 'tis over. — Know I you? 

Clif. Reverse of fortune, lady, changes friends; 
It turns them into strangers. What I am, 
I have not always been ! 

Jul. Could I not name you ? 

Clif. If your disdain for one, perhaps too bold 
When hollow fortune call'd him favourite, — 
Now by her fickleness perforce reduced 
To take a humble tone, — would suffer you — 

Jul. I might? 

Clif. You might. 

Jul. O Clifford! is it you? 

Clif. Your answer to my Lord. [Gives the letter. 

Jul. [Taking the letter.] Your Lord ! 

Clif [Rising.] Wilt write it? 

Or will it please you send a verbal one ? 
I'll bear it faithfully. 

Jul. [Astonished.] To^'^bearit? 

Clif. Madam, 

Your pardon, but my haste is somewhat urgent. 
My Lord's impatient, and to use dispatch 



THE HUNCHBACK. 5Do 

Were his repeated orders. 

Jul. Orders! Well, [Taking letter. 

I'll read the letter, sir. "Tis right 3*011 mind 
His Lordship's orders. They are paramount : 
Nothing should supersede them — stand beside them: 
They merit all your care, and have it ! Fit, 
Most fit they should ! Give me the letter, sir. 
Clif. You have it, madam. 

Jul. [Aside. ] So ! How poor a thing 

I look ! so lost, while he is all himself! 

Have I no pride ? — [She rings, the Servant enters."] Paper, 
and pen and ink. — [Exit Servant. 

If he can freeze, 'tis time that I grow cold. 
I'll read the letter. 

[Opens it, and holds it as about to read it. 
Mind his orders ! So ! 
Quickly he fits his habits to his fortunes. 
He serves my Lord with all his will. His heart's 
In his vocation. So ! Is this the letter? 
'Tis upside down, — and here I'm poring on't ! 
Most fit I let him see me play the fool ! 
Shame ! Let me be myself ! — 

[Servant enters with materials for writing. 
A table, sir, 
And chair. 

[Table and chair brought in. She sits awhile, gazing on 
the letter, then looks at Clifford. 
How plainly shows his humble suit ! 
It fits not him that wears it. I have wrong'd him : 
He can't be happy, — does not look it, — is not ! 
That eve which reads the ground is argument 
Enough. He loves me ! There I let him stand, 
And I am sitting ! — [Rises and points to a chair. 

Pra} T you, take a chair. 
[He botes, declining the honour. She looks at him awhile. 
Clifford, why don't you speak to me? [Weeps. 



596 CHOICE READINGS. 

Clif I trust 

You're happy. 

Jul. Happy ! Very, very happy ! 

You see, I weep, I am so happy ! Tears 
Are signs, you know, of nought but happiness. 
When first I saw you, little did I look 
To be so happy. Clifford ! 

Clif. Madam? 

Jul. Madam ! 

I call thee Clifford, and thou call'st me Madam ! 

Clif: Such the address my duty stints me to. 
Thou art the wife-elect of a proud Earl, — 
Whose humble Secretary sole am I. 

Jul. Most right ! I had forgot : I thank you, sir, 
For so reminding me ; and give you jo} T 
That what, I see, had been a burden to you 
Is fairly off your hands. 

Clif. A burden to me ! 

Mean 3'ou } T ourself ? Are 3011 that burden, Julia? 
Say that the Sun's a burden to the Earth ; 
Say that the blood's a burden to the heart ; 
Say health's a burden, peace, contentment, joy, 
Fame, riches, honours ; every thing that man 
Desires, and gives the name of blessing to, — 
E'en such a burden Julia were to me, 
Had fortune let me wear her. 

Jul. [Aside. ~\ On the brink 

Of what a precipice I'm standing ! Back, 
Back ! while the faculty remains to do't : 
A minute longer, not the whirlpool's self 
More sure to suck thee clown. One effort ! [#iYs.] There! 
[Recovers her self-possession, and reads the letter. 
To wed to-morrow night ! Wed whom ? A man 
Whom I can never love ! I should before 
Have thought of that. To-morrow night ! this hour 
To-morrow ! How I tremble ! Happy bands, 



THE HUNCHBACK. 597 

To which my heart such freezing welcome gives, 
As sends an ague through me ! At what means 
Will not the desperate snatch ! What's honour's price ? 
Nor friends, nor lovers ; no, nor life itself! — 
Clifford, this moment leave me ! 

[Clifford retires up the stage. 
And is he gone ? 
O docile lover ! Do his mistress' wish 
That went against his own ! Do it so soon ! 
Ere well 'twas utter'd ! Xo good-bye to her ! 
No word I no look ! 'Twas best that so he" went. 
Alas ! the strait of her who owns that best 
Which last she'd wish were done ! What's left me now? 
To weep, to weep ! 

[Leans her head upon Iter arm, which rests upon the table, 
her other arm hanging listless at her side. Clifford 
comes down the stage, looks a moment at her, approaches 
her. and kneeling, takes her hand. 

Clif. [With stifled emotion.'] My Julia ! 

Jul. Here again? 

Up ! up ! By all thy hopes of Heaven, go hence ! 
To stay's perdition to me ! Look you, Clifford, 
Were there a grave where thou art kneeling now 
I'd walk into't, and be inearth' d alive, 
Ere taint should touch my name. Should some one come 
And see thee kneeling thus ! Let go my hand ! 
Remember, Clifford, I'm a promised bride ; 
And take thy arm away : it has no right 
To clasp my waist. Judge you so poorly of me, 
As think I'll suffer this? My honour, sir ! 

[She breaks from him. quitting her seat; he rises. 
I'm glad you've forced me to respect myself ; 
You'll find that I can do so ! 

Clif. I was bold,— 

Forgetful of your station and my own. 
There was a time I held vour hand unchid : 



598 CHOICE READINGS. 

There was a time I might have clasp'd } T our waist ; 
I had forgot that time was past and gone : 
I pray you, pardon me. 

Jul. \_Softened.~\ I do so, Clifford. 

Clif. I shall no more offend. 

Jul. Make sure of that. 

No longer is it fit thou keep'st thy post 
In's Lordship's household. Give it up. A da}', 
An hour remain not in it. 

Clif. Wherefore? 

Jul. Live 

In the same house with me, and I another's ? 
Put miles, put leagues between us ! The same land 
Should not contain us : oceans should divide us, 
With barriers of constant tempests, such 
As mariners durst not tempt ! Clifford ! 
Rash was the act so light that gave me up, 
That stung a woman's pride, and drove her mad, 
Till, in her frenzy, she destroy'd her peace : 
O, it was rashly done ! Had j'ou reproved, 
Expostulated, had you reason'd with me, 
Tried to find out what was indeed my heart, 
I would have shown it, — you'd have seen it. All 
Had been as nought can ever be again ! 

Clif. Lovest thou me, Julia? 

Jul. Dost thou ask me, Clifford ? 

Clif. These nuptials may be shunn'd, — 

Jul. With honour? 

Clif. Yes. 

Jul. Then take me ! Stop, — hear me, and take me then. 
Let not thy passion be my counsellor ! 
Deal with me, Clifford, as my brother. Be 
The jealous guardian of m}' spotless name ! 
Win me and wear me ! May I trust thee? 0, 
If that's thy soul, that's looking through thine eye, 
Thou lovest me, and I may ! 



THE HUNCHBACK. 599 

Clif. As life is mine, 

The ring that goes thy wedding finger on, 
No hand save mine shall place there ! 

Jul. Yet a word : 

B\- all thy hopes most dear, be true to me ! 
Go now ; — yet stay ! O Clifford ! while you're here, 
I'm like a bark distress'd and compassless, 
That by a beacon steers ; — when you're away, 
That bark alone, and tossing miles at sea ! 
Now go ! Farewell ! My compass — beacon — land ! 
When shall mine eyes be bless'd with thee again? 

Clif. Farewell ! [Exeunt. 



Act V. Scene I. 

Characters : Helen and Modus. The courtship of an 
artful girl and bashful lover. Modus, while at college, reads 
Ooid's "Art of Love," but fails in the practical part of it 
until taught by Helen. Love finally triumphs over bashful- 
ness, with happy result. 

Helen and Modus stand at opposite wings, make a long 
pause, then bashfully look at each other. 

Hel. Why, cousin Modus ! What ! will }*ou stand by 
And see me forced to marry? Cousin Modus, 
Have you not got a tongue ? Have you not eyes ? 
Do you not see I'm veiy — very ill? 
And not a chair in all the corridor? 

Mod. I'll find one in the study. [Going. 

Hel. Hang the stud}* ! 

Mod. My room's at hand. I'll fetch one thence. [Going. 

Hel. You sha'n't ! I'll faint ere }*ou come back ! 

Mod. What shall I do? 

Hel. Why don't you offer to support me? Well, 



600 CHOICE READINGS. 

Give me your arm, — be quick ! [Modus offers his arm.~] Is 

that the waj r 
To help a lady when she's like to faint? 
I'll drop unless you catch me ! 

[Falls against him. — He supports her.] That will do ; 
I'm better now. [He offers to leave her.'] Don't leave me ! 

is one well 
Because one's better? Hold my hand. Keep so. 
Well, cousin Modus? 

Mod. Well, sweet cousin? 

Hel. Well? 

You heard what Master Walter said ? 

Mod. I did. 

Hel. And would you have me marry? Can't you speak? 
Say yes or no. 

Mod. No, cousin. 

Hel. Bravely said. 

And why, my gallant cousin? 

Mod. Why? 

Hel. Ah, why — 

Women, you know, are fond of reasons — why 
Would you not have me marry ? How you blush ! 
You mind me of a story of a cousin 
Who once her cousin such a question asked. 
He had not been to college, though ; for books, 
Had pass'd his time in reading ladies' eyes, 
Which he could construe marvellously well. 
Thus stood they once together, on a day, — 
As we stand now, — discoursed, as we discourse, — 
As now I questional thee, she questional him, 
And what was his reply? To think of it 
Sets m} r heart beating, — 'twas so kind a one, 
So like a cousin's answer, — a dear cousin, 
A gentle, honest, gallant, loving cousin ! 
What did he say ? A man might find it out. 
Thoush never read he Ovid's "Art of Love." 



THE HUNCHBACK. 601 

What did he say ? He'd many her himself ! 
How stupid are you, cousin ! Let me go ! 

Mod. You are not well }et. 

Hel. Yes. 

Mod. I'm sure you're not. 

Hel. I'm sure I am. 

Mod. Nay, let me hold you, cousin : 

I like it. 

Hel. Do you ? I would wager you 
You could not tell me why. Well? How you stare ! 
What see you in my face to wonder at? 

Mod. A pair of eyes. 

Hel. [Aside.'] At last he'll find his tongue. — 

And saw you ne'er a pair of eyes before? 

Mod. Not such a pair. 

Hel. And why ? 

Mod. They are so bright ! 

You have a Grecian nose. 

Hel. Indeed ! 

Mod. Indeed ! 

Hel. What kind of mouth have I ? 

Mod. A handsome one. 

I never saw so sweet a pair of lips : 
I ne'er saw lips at all till now, dear cousin ! 

Hel. Cousin, I'm well, — you need not hold me now. 
Do you not hear ? I tell you I am well ; 
I need your arm no longer ; take't away ! 
So tight it locks me, 'tis with pain I breathe : 
Let me go, cousin ! Wherefore do you hold 
Your face so close to mine ? What do you mean ? 

Mod. You've question'd me, and now I'll question you. 

Hel. What would you learn ? 

Mod. The use of lips ? 

Hel. To speak. 

Mod. Nought else? 

Hel. How bold my modest cousin grows ! 

Why, other use know you? 



602 CHOICE READINGS. 

Mod. I do. 

Hel. Indeed ! 

You're wondrous wise ! And pray, what is it? 

Mod. ' This! 

[Attempts to kiss her 

Hel. Soft ! My hand thanks you, cousin ; for my lips, 
I keep them for a husband. Nay, stand off! 
I'll not be held in manacles again. 
Why do you follow me ? 

Mod. I love 3 T ou, cousin ! 

Hel. O cousin, say you so? That's passing strange ! 
A thing to sigh for, weep for, languish for, 
And die for ! 



Mod. 




Die for? 






Hel. 






Yes, with laughter, cousin ; 


3Y truly 


IlOA 


r e you. 






Mod. 






And you 


11 be mine ? 


Hel. I 


will. 








Mod. 




Your hand upon it. 




Hel. 








Hand and heart 



Hie to thy dressing-room, and I'll to mine, — 
Attire thee for the altar, — so will I. 
Whoe'er may claim me, thou'rt the man shall have me. 
Away ! Dispatch ! But hark you, ere you go : 
Ne'er brag of reading Ovid's ' l Art of Love " ! 

Mod. And cousin, stop, — one little word with yow ! 
[Beckons Helen over to him, snatches a kiss. She runs off; 
he takes the book from his bosom, which he had put there 
informer scene, looks at it, and throws it down. Exit. 



ING0MAR, THE BARBARIAN. 603 

INGOMAB, THE BAEBAKIAN. 

Frederick Halm : Translated by Maria Lovell. 



Act I. Scene I. 

Characters: Actea, Myron's ivife; Parthenia, their 
daughter, a beautiful young Greek girl; and Polydor, a 
wealthy, miserly old widower, who wishes to contract for the 
hand of Parthenia. 

Scene : Massilia, the market-place, in front of an archway 
which crosses the back of the stage. In the foreground, on 
the right, Myron's and another house; a spinning-wheel and 
basket in front of Myron's house. Opposite to it the house 
of Polydor. 

Enter Actea, from the House. 

Act. The Sun is nearly set ; the city gates 
Will quickly close, yet Myron comes not home : 
Parthenia, too, wild girl ! freed from her task, 
Flies like a bird unfetter'd from her cage. — 
Parthenia ! daughter ! child ! 

Enter Parthenia. 

Par. Well, mother dear ! 

Act. Ah ! truant, see, here lies thy work undone, 
And evening near. 

Par. I've spun enough to-day ; 

And yonder are our neighbours gathering olives ; 
I'll help them. \_Going. 

Act. No ! thou shaft remain with me ; 

And listen, wild one : thou hast long enough 
Wasted the hours in trifling children's play, — 
"Tis time to end it : so now sit thee down, 
And, if thou canst, be serious for once. 

Par. Yes, mother dear, I hear. 

[She seats herself listlessly at the wheel. 



604 CHOICE READINGS. 

Act. Bethink thee, child. 

This Polydor is rich. — a man in years. 
'Tis true, but rich. — a widower, indeed. 
But much respected, and of quality : 
He asks thy hand ; dost listen ? 

Par. \Starting.~\ Yes. 0. yes. 

Act. Ah. so thou always say'st : yet I may speak. 
Talk by the hoar, while all thy busy thoughts 
"Wander through fields and woods, as thou thyself. 
Chasing the butterflies : but now 'tis time. 
Though with spring blood, to think of coming Autumn. — 
'Tis time to think of marriage : yet already 
Thou hast rejected Medon. 

Par. [ Com* ng forward.'] O! he was old. 
Gray-headed, gouty, coarse, — 

Act. Evander. then. 

Par. Evander! Yes. he had a fox's cunning, 
With a hyaena's heart, and monkey's form. 

Act. Mad. foolish girl ! go. trample down thy fortune. 
Until repentance comes too late ! Thou think" st 
Thyself unequall'd. doubtless : lovely, rich. 

Par. Young am I. mother ; joyous, happy, too. 

[Embracing her. 
And you. you love me ! what can I wish more? 
Yes. you do love me ! 

Act. Love thee ! ay. and well 

Dost thon deserve our love ! 
"Why do I fold thee thus within my arms ? 
We love thee, but thou lovest us not. 

Pi r. Not love thee, mother? 

Act. Xo : or. as our will. 

So would thine own be : thou wouldst let us choose 
Thy husband. 

Par. No, dear mother, no. — not him. 

Act. "What dost thou hope for. then ? Perhaps thou think'st 
The Man-i'-the-moon would be thy fitting 
What wairst thou for. I sav? 



1NGOMAR, THE BARBARIAN. G05 

Par. I'll tell thee, mother : I was but a child, 
And yet I mark'd it well ; you sang to me 
Of Hero and Leander, and their love ; 
And when I ask'd thee, wondering, what love was, 
Then, with uplifted hands and laughing eyes. 
Thou told'st me how, into the lonely heart 
Love sudden comes unsought, then grows and grows, 
Feeble at first, like dawn before the Sun, 
Till, bursting every bond, it breaks at last 
Upon the startled soul with hope and joy, 
While every bounding pulse cries, " That is he 
Who carries in his breast my heart, my soul : 
With him, O, may I live, and with him die ! " 
So, when old Medon and Evander came 
To woo, I laid my hand upon my heart, 
And listen'd, listen'd, but, no ! all was still, 
All silent ; no response, no voice ; and so 
I'm waiting, mother, till my heart shall speak! 

Act. [Aside.'] Good gods! 'tis thus we let our old 
tongues prattle, 
While young ears listen. — So, thou foolish child, 
'Tis that thou waitest for, — thy heart must speak ! 
I prattled nonsense, a child's tale, a dream ! 
I tell thee, there's no second will come to thee 
Like Polydor, so rich, so honourable. 

Par. Honourable ! 
Beats down my needy father in his wares, 
Higgles and bargains. 

Act. That thou understandest not. 

He is a careful and a saving merchant : 
Think, think, my child, — saj- yes, — for my sake, do ; 
Say }'es, my child. 

Par. Hold, mother : I will never wander more 
Through woods and fields ; like other girls, will spin, 
Will work, will read thy wishes in thine eyes ; 
But him, that Polydor, I cannot, will not — 
No, never, never ! 



606 CHOICE READINGS. 

Act. Never ? 

Par. Thou art angry ! 

Act. Away ! have I not cause enough for anger? 
Thy parents now grow old, and long for rest ; 
Thy father, a poor armourer, in the fields, 
Labours and toils all day ; 
Then must he hammer at the forge by night ; 
And when the tillage rests, that cannot he, 
But sets out, laden heavily, as now, with arms, 
To offer them for sale in neighbouring villages. 

Par. Poor father ! 

Act. Poor, poor, indeed ! Then I remain at home, 
'Tis true ; yet go I forth in thought, and cany 
With him the burden of the goods : with him I pant 
Up the rough mountain's slippery path, and feel 
The pelting storms which soak his weary limbs, 
And think, that even now, in the dark valley 
The wild Allobrogi or fierce Allemanni 
Attack him, rob him, murder him, perhaps ! 

Par. O mother, mother ! 

Act. So must I weep, and weep. But thou, 
Thou whom he loves, for whom he e'en would die, 
For whom he risks his blood, his limbs, his life, — 
Thou, thou mightst spare him from all weariness, 
Mightst dry my tears, make happy our old age, 
Be so thyself. - But no ! thou canst, yet wilt not. 
Go, go, thou selfish and ungrateful child ! [Exit into house. 

Par. [After a pause. ] Ungrateful ! no, ye gods, that 
am I not. 
Ungrateful to my father ! — No ! and yet 
For me does the rough storm beat on his head 3 
For me he staggers 'neath his heavy loads, 
And totters, panting up the mountain sides. 
Yes, yes ; I'll show my mother she is wrong ; 
It shall not be. But yet what would I do? 
Unite myself to age, to avarice? 
That is to die ! to die, — 'twere better far ! 



ING0MAR, THE BARBARIAN. 607 

But yet it must be so : — farewell, sweet dreams ! [Pauses. 

And once the future lay so bright before me : 

There shone the scarce-form'd hope, the nrystic joy ; — 

Let all be fane}-, — love be but a dream ; — 

All is a fable that adorns our life, 

And but the passing day alone is real ! 

Well, be it so. Parthenia wakes to duty ! 

And now, sweet visions of my youth, farewell ! 

My father now shall labour hard no more, — 

Shall rest. Ah ! who comes here? 'tis Polydor ! 

I'll ny, — yet no ! I will remain : if my happiness 

Must be put up for sale, then let the price 

Be well secured for which I barter it. 

What looks he? pride, ill-temper, avarice, — 

And I his wife. It makes my heart grow cold. 

[She approaches her spinning-wheel, at which 

she sits to work. 

Enter Polydor. 

Pol. [Soliloquizing.'] This will not do, the slave impover- 
ishes me ; 
There is no doing without a wife, — it must be. 

Par. [Aside.] Does he not look as though he had the weight 
O' the world upon his thoughts ? and yet I wager 
He only thinks on pigs and geese. 

Pol. Nothing replaces Kallinike to me : 
She was a true heart, — she could work, could save ! 
But then the armourer's daughter, — could she? 
Ah, she is there herself! she's young, she's pretty : 
So — yes — no — well, so be it. — 

[Approaching and addressing Parthenia. 
Good day, fair maid. Good day ! 

Par. Say, rather, evening, while the Sun is sinking. 

Pol. Can it be evening while thy bright eyes shine ? 

Par. Awa} T , sir, with fine words ! we will speak plainly. 
They tell me you propose to many me. 

Pol. Ah ! that is plain, — that's coming to the point. — 



608 CHOICE READINGS. 

Alas ! her fond impatience cannot wait. — 
Yes, yes, such is my thought. 

Par. My mother told me so : and yet I wonder 
Thy choice should fall on me ; how soon, it seems, 
You have forgotten Kallinike ! 

Pol. Forgotten ? No, indeed ; a man like me 
Forgets not gold, nor goods, nor the worth of goods, 
And that was she to me ; yet weighty reasons 
Press on me a new choice, my children — 

Par. Ay, poor orphans ! 

Pol. Poor they are not ; but they are troublesome, 
Gluttonous pigs, — wild, rude, unruly boys. 
Shall I, at great expense, hire a schoolmaster 
From Samos or Miletus ? Gentleness 
Best rules rough strength, and thou indeed art gentle. 

Par. Gentle ! O yes, as gentle as a lamb 
Led to the sacrifice. 

Pol. Besides, I'm often far from home ; nry business 
Now calls me to the market, now to the harbour : 
And shall a slave meanwhile keep house for me, 
And farm, and warehouse? guard my well-fill'd coffers? 
That only can a wife, only a true wife. 
And then, too, I grow old, am often sick : 
And who would tend me then? make ready for me 
The warm room, and prepare my drink and physic? 
Ah ! only a fond wife. 

Par. O, my poor heart ! 

Pol. 'Tis thou shalt be that wife, and thou shalt make 
me 
Strong, young again ; thy love, my pretty rosebud, — 

Par. Away ! and listen now to me : 
Thou know'st my father tills the fields by day, 
And at the anvil works b\ T night, and then 
Upon his shoulders carries to a distance 
His wares for sale ; that he is now in years, 
And wants repose : say, then, when I am thine, — 
Say, wilt thou think of my poor father? 



ENGOMAR, THE BARBARIAN'. 609 

Pol. Ay, certainly I will; how could I otherwise? 
Yes, yes. I will. — I will think of thy father. 

Par. And do? — what wilt thou do for him? 

Pol. O, he shall be advanced, for he will be 
My father-in-law. the father-in-law of Polydor, 
Of the rich Polydor ; and from the gods 
My lineage springs : 
Think what an honour : from the gods, my child ! 

Par. But honour gives not food : what wilt thou do? 

Pol. "Well, in the first place, buy, as hitherto, 
His wares at a good price. 

Par. At a good price ! — That is, good for thyself. 
"Well, and what more? 

Pol. What more ! Why, then again, then will I — ■ 
Observe me now, and bear in mind, girl, — know 
I'll take thee without dowry, — yes, entirely 
Without a dowry ; true as thou'rt alive, 
I'll take thee, ay, without a drachma ! 

Pur. But what do for my father? 

Pol. Is not that 

To do? and plenty, too, I think. 

Par. Xo more? 

Pol. Xo more ! almost too much. 

Par. By all the gods, yes, it is quite too much ; 
And so. good evening. [Going. 

Pol. No, stay. — thou shalt not go without an answer. 

Par. An answer thou shalt have, and mark it well : 
Procure your children, sir, a schoolmaster 
At any price, and whence you please : a slave 
To guard your house, attend to bolts and bars ; 
Shouldst thou fall sick, there, at the corner yonder, 
Go, bid the huckster sell thee wholesome herbs ; 
Mix for thyself thy medicine and thy drink : 
But know, for me there grows no bitterer herb 
On Earth than sight of thee ! Now — mark it well — 
This is my answer, thou poor, heartless miser ! 
So fare thee well, descendant of the gods ! [Exit into 7wuse. 



610 CHOICE READINGS. 

Pol. [Standing looking after her for a time.'] What's 
that? did I hear right? she turns me out? 
Me, the rich Polydor ! The armourer's child 
Scorns me, the rich descendant of the gods, 
As though I were her father's fellow- workman ; 
Disdains me ! mocks me ! There's no bitterer herb 
On Earth than sight of me ! Yes, and it shall 
Be bitter to thee, and to others, too. 
I'll have revenge ! What shall I do? I'll take 
No more swords of him, I'll buy up the rights 
Of all his creditors, summon him to justice ; 
I will ; I'll drive him from his house and home, 
Ay, from the city, — him and his saucy child. 
That will I ! Yes ; I'll force out his last drachma. 
O, I'll not rest until I've, had revenge ! [Exit. 



Act II. Scene I. 

The camp of the Alemanni in the Chevennes Mountain. 

Characters : Ingomar, the barbarian and chief of the 
Alemanni; Parthenia, ivho has given up herself to the 
barbarians as a ransom for her father, Myron. Myron 
has been sent bach to Massilia, whence he was captured; 
and, as he is forced along amid the jeers and taunts of the 
Alemanni, Parthenia looks toward him, and speaks: 

Par. O, I shall never see him more ! 

Ing. What ! have we 

For a silly old man, got now a foolish 
And timid weeping girl? I've had enough 
Of tears. 

Par. Enough, indeed, since you but mock them ! 
I will not, — no, I'll weep no more. 

[She quickly dries her eyes, and retires to the background. 

Ing. That's good; come, that looks well : 
She's a brave girl ! she rules herself, and, if 



IXG0MAR, THE BARBARIAN. 611 

She keep her word, we've made a good exchange. 
" I'll weep no more." Aha ! I like the girl. 
And if — Ho ! whither goest thou? 

[To Parthexia, ivlw is going off with two goblets. 

Par. Where should I go? to yonder brook, to cleanse the 
cups. 

Ing. No ! sta}- and talk with me. 

Par. I have duties to perforin. [Going. 

Ing. Stay, — I command you, slave ! 

Par. I am no slave ! } T our hostage, but no slave. 
I go to cleanse the cups. [Exit. 

Ing. Ho ! here's a self-will'd thing, — here is a spirit ! 

\_3Iimicking h&\ 
" I will not, I'm no slave ! I've duties to perform ! 
Take me for hostage ! " and she flung back her head 
As though she brought with her a ton of gold ! 
" I'll weep no more," — Aha ! an impudent thing. 
She pleases me ! I love to be opposed ; 
I love my horse when he rears, 1113' dogs when they snarl, 
The mountain torrent, and the sea, when it flings 
Its foam up to the stars : such things as these 
Fill me with life and joy. Tame indolence 
Is living death : the battle of the strong 
Alone is life. 

[During this speech Parthexia has returned with the cups 
and a bundle of field flowers. She seats herself on a 
piece of rock in front. 

Ah ! here she is again. — [He approaches her, 
and leans over her on the rock. 
What art thou making there ? 

Par. I? garlands. 

Ing. Garlands ? — 

[Musing.'] It seems to me as I before had seen her 
In a dream ! How ! Ah, my brother ! — he who died 
A child, — yes, that is it. My little Folko, — 
She has his dark brown hair, his sparkling eye : 
Even the voice seems known ao-ain to me : 



612 CHOICE READINGS. 

I'll not to sleep, — I'll talk to her. — [Returns to her. 

These you call garlands ; 

And wherefore do you weave them? 

Par. For these cups 

Ing. How ? 

Par. Is't not with 3-ou a custom ? With us, 
At home, we love to intertwine with flowers 
Our cups and goblets. 

Ing. What use is such a plaything? 

Par. Use ? They're beautiful ; that is their use : 
The sight of them makes glad the e}-e ; their scent 
Refreshes, cheers. [Fastens the half-finished garland round 

a cup, and presents it to him. 
There ! is not that, now, beautiful? 

Ing. Ay, by the bright Sun ! That dark green mix'd up 
With the gay flowers ! Thou must teach our women 
To weave such garlands. 

Par. That's soon done : thy wife 

Herself shall soon weave wreaths as well as I. 

Ing. [Laughing heartily.'] My wife ! my wife ! a woman 
dost thou say ? 
I thank the gods, not I. This is 1113* wife, — 

[Pointing to his accoutrements. 
My spear, my shield, my sword : let him who will 
Waste cattle, slaves, or gold, to buy a woman ; 
Not I, not I ! 

Par. To buy a woman ? — how ! 

Ing. What is the matter? why dost look so strangely? 

Par. How ! did I hear aright? bargain for brides, 
As you would slaves, — buy them like cattle? 

Ing. Well, I think a woman fit only for a slave. 
We follow our own customs, as you yours. 
How do you in your city^ there ? 

Par. Consult our hearts. 

Massilia's free-born daughters are not sold, 
But bound by choice with bands as light and sweet 
As these I hold. Love only buys us there. 



INGOMAR, THE BARBARIAN. G13 

Ing. Marry for love : — what ! do you love your husbands ? 

Par. Why marry else ? 

Ing. Marry for love ; that's strange ! 

I cannot comprehend. I love my horse, 
My dogs, my brave companions, — but no woman ! 
What dost thou mean by love ? what is it, girl ? 

Par. What is it ? 'Tis of all things the most sweet, — 
The heaven of life, — or so my mother says ; 
I never felt it. 

Ing. Never? 

Par. [Looking at the garland.~] No, indeed. 
Now look how beautiful ! Here would I weave 
Red flowers if I had them. 

Ing. Yonder there, 

In that thick wood, they grow. 

Par. How sayest thou ? 

[Looking off.~\ O, what a lovely red ! Go, pluck me some. 

Ing. [Starting at the suggestion.] I go for thee ? the 
master serve the slave ? — 

[Gazing on her with increasing interest. 
And yet, why not? I'll go, — the poor child's tired. 

Par. Dost hesitate ? 

Ing. No, thou shalt have the flowers 

As fresh and dewy as the bush" affords. [He goes off. 

Par. [Holding out the ivreath.] I never yet succeeded 
half so well. 
It will be charming ! Charming? and for whom? 
Here among savages ! no mother here 
Looks smiling on it, — I'm alone, forsaken ! 
But no, I'll weep no more ! no, none shall say I fear. 

Re-enter Ingomar, with a bunch of flowers, and slowly ad- 
vancing toivards Partiienia. 

Ing. [Aside. - ] The little Folko, when in his play he 
wanted 
Flowers or fruit, would so cry ; ' Bring them to me ; 
Quick ! I will have them, — these I'll have or none " ; 



614 CHOICE READINGS. 

Till somehow he compell'd me to obey him ; 

And she, with the same spirit, the same fire, — 

Yes, there is much of the bright child in her. 

Well, she shall be a little brother to me ! — 

There are the flowers. [He hands her the flowers. 

Par. Thanks, thanks. O, thou hast broken them 
Too short off in the stem. 

[She throws some of them on the ground. 

Ing. Shall" I go get thee more? 

Par. No, these will do. 

Ing. Tell me about your home : I will sit here, 
Near thee. 

Par. Not there : thou'rt crushing all the flowers. 

Ing. [Seating himself at her feet.'] Well, well ; I'll sit 
here, then. And now tell me, 
What is your name ? 

Par. Parthenia. 

Ing. Parthenia ! 

A pretty name ! and now, Parthenia, tell me 
How that which you call love grows in the soul ; 
And what love is : 'tis strange, but in that word 
There's something seems like yonder ocean — fathomless. 

Par. How shall I say? Love comes, my mother says, 
Like flowers F the night, — roach me those violets ; — 
It is a flame a single look will kindle, 
But not an ocean quench. 
Foster'd by dreams, excited by each thought, 
Love is a star from heaven, that points the way 
And leads us to its home, — a little spot 
In Earth's dry desert, where the soul may rest; 
A grain of gold in the dull sand of life ; 
A foretaste of Elysium : but when, 
Weary of this world's woes, th' immortal gods 
Flew to the skies, with all their richest gifts, 
Love stay'd behind, self-exiled for man's sake ! 

Ing. I never yet heard aught so beautiful ; 
I>nt still I comprehend it not. 



INGOMAR, THE BARBARIAN. 615 

Par. Nor I, 

For I have never felt it ; yet I know 
A song my mother sang, an ancient song, 
That plainly speaks of love, at least to me. 
How goes it ? stay — [Slowly, as trying to recollect. 

What love is, if thou wouldst be taught, 

Thy heart must teach alone, — 
Two souls with but a single thought, 

Two hearts that beat as one. 

And whence comes love? like morning's light, 

lb comes without thy call ; 
And how dies love ? — A spirit bright, 

Love never dies at all! 

And when — and when — 

[Hesitating, as unable to continue. 
Ing. Go on. 

Par. I know no more. 

Ing. [Impatiently.] Try, try. 

Par. I cannot now ; but at some other time 
I may remember. 

Ing. [Somewhat authoritatively.'] Now, go on, I say. 
Par. [Springing up in alarm.'] Not now, I want more 
roses for m\ r wreath ! 
Yonder they grow, I'll fetch them for myself. 
Take care of all my flowers and the wreath. 

[Throws the flowers into Ingomar' s lap and runs off. 
Ing. [After a pause, without changing his position, speak- 
ing to himself in deep abstraction.] 

Two souls with but a single thought, 
Two hearts that beat as one. 

[The curtain falls. 

Act IV. Scene I. 

Characters : Ingomar and Parthenia. 

Scene : The forest near Massilia. Parthenia is released 
from the Alemanni, and Ingomar accompanies her to her 



616 CHOICE READINGS. 

home. Love conquers, and he decides to go with her to Mas- 
silia and become a Greek. 

Ing. Here, here, Parthenia, this way, — by this path. 

Par. No, yonder is the wa}-, — down there. 

Ing. Hold, hold ! that is to danger, — see you not? 
This way, — give me thy hand. 

{They descend the path on to the stage. 
When wilt thou trust me ? 
Hast thou forgotten yesterday, the moor 
Where, following thine own will, the ground gave way 
Beneath thy feet, and, if I had not then 
From off nry arm thrown my broad shield, whose face 
Upheld thy failing steps, — 

Par. I should have sunk ! 

Ing. And I with thee. 

Par. I think thou wouldst. Yes, yes, 

I was preserved from death, and by thine arms, — 
Thy shield lies i' the morass ; and last night, too, 
Under the bank, whose turf and moss afforded 
But scanty firing, thou didst break thy spear, 
And with its fragments make a cheerful blaze, 
To warm and comfort me. O, thou true guide ! 

Ing. Then come, — this way. 

Par. It seems as if that path — 

Ing. Again ! Why, look, the wood is ended here, 
And the mountain grows more level. 

Par. Ah ! thou art right ; the forest spreads behind us : 
It seems to me I ought to know this place. 
Was it not here that, when I left nry home 
To seek my father, on my knees I pray'd 
The gods for courage, strength, and victory ? 

Ing. Ah ! say not so. Far, far from here, I'd have 
Thy home. 

Par. Yes, here it was. 

{She turns to the background and recognizes Massilla. 
Ah ! and behold, there rolls the sea ; 
And yonder, shining in the purple light, 



ING0MAR, THE BARBARIAN. 617 

Appears Artemis' temple. — O Massilia, 

My home, 1113* home ! again I throw myself [Kneeling. 

Upon the earth, with thanks, with gratitude. — 

Immortal gods, who've watch'd my lonely path, 

The work of love is done, and safely back 

You bring me home again. O. thanks and praise ! 

Ing. [Aside. "] Would that I lay beside my shield in the 
morass ! 

Par. [Rising and coming forward, accompanied by Ixoo- 
mar.] My father, mother, I shall see them again ; 
"Weeping with joy shall sink into their arms, 
And kiss the falling tears from their pale cheeks. 

0, be saluted by me, my native city ! 

See how the evening light plays on each column, 
Each wall, and tower, like the smile of a god. 
Look, Ingomar, is it not glorious? 
What ails thee ? why art thou now grown sulky, 
Like a vex'd child, when joy lends my soul wings? 
Didst thou endure with me the burning sun, 
The frost of night, and the rough path, and now 
Wilt not rejoice, — now that our toil is over? 

Ing. I — I rejoice? 
In the dark forest, the bleak wilderness, 
Alone with thee, the heavens above, around us 
Loneliness and deep silence, there, — yes, there, 
Where fear and danger press'd thee to my aid, 
Did I rejoice ; I was thy world : but here, 
Where these accursed walls cast their cold shades, 
To tear our souls asunder, — here — 

Par. Ah me ! 

Yes, I remember, — here we part. And yet 
Not here ; come with me to the city. 

Ing. I? 

Yonder, with polished Greeks, caged in dark walls ? 

1, the barbarian, the free man? No, yonder 
Tlry pathway lies, — this to my mountain home. 
O, would that I had never seen thee, girl ! 



618 CHOICE READINGS. 

Enough : farewell, farewell ! [Rushes out. 

Par. Ingomar ! stay, hear me ! — He heeds me not ; 
He flies up the steep cliff ; he's gone, and I 
Shall never see him more ! Wiry, how is this? 
What sadden change has come upon the world? 
How green, how bright, was all before ! and now 
How dim and dark the twilight grows ! How faded 
The grass, how dry the leaves ! It seems to me 
As if the young Spring were about to die. 
What ! tears ? I must not weep ; no, no, I must not. 
Rouse thee, Parthenia, thou hast duties. Think, 
Thy home awaits thee, — parents, friends, companions. 
O, Ingomar ! whom shall I find there like to thee? 
Thou good, thou generous one ! Lost — lost ! [ Weeps, 

Ingomar re-enters and slowly approaches. 

Tag. Parthenia ! 

Par. Ah ! come back again ? 

Ing. I am : I cannot, will not leave thee. 
I will go with thee to the city ; I — 
I will become a Greek ! 

Par. How sayest thou ? 

Ing. Thou dost not despise me, Parthenia ; no, 
Thou'rt not ashamed of me, but only of 
My nation, my rough ways : there's remedy 
For that, — it can be mended. Though I am 
No Greek, yet I'm a man, for 'tis the soul 
That makes the man, and not his outward seeming: 
My shield and spear are left in the morass, 
So will I leave m}' nation, manners, all, 
To follow thee. In yonder town, for thee 
I will become a Greek. And, now I've said it, 
I'm strong and well again. 

Par. Thou'lt follow me ? 

Ing. I know I've much to learn, but thou wilt teach me, 
And that will make all easy. When 'tis done, 
Thou'lt love me then ! thou wilt, — I feel it here ; 



LEAH, THE FORSAKEN. 619 

Ay, like a sunbeam in ray heart it glows ; 

It shouts like the loud triumph of a conqueror ; 

Like the voice of the high gods, it penetrates 

My soul : thou' It love me then ! thou' It love me then ! 

Par. [Aside.'] If not, O Heaven ! whom can I ever love ! 
Thou'lt follow me to Massilia. {Exit. 



LEAH, THE FORSAKEN. 

Augustin Daly. 



Act IV. Scene II. 

Characters : Leah, a Jewish maiden and a fugitive to 
Bohemia during a persecution of her race. Rudolf, the son 
of an old Christian magistrate, falls in love with Leah, but is 
shortly after persuaded that she has accepted a sum of money 
to discard him. While labouring under this impression, he is 
induced by his parents to marry Madalina, the niece of Father 
Herman, the village priest. The marriage ceremony has just 
been solemnized in the church ivhen Leah wanders into the 
church-yard. 

Scene: Night. The churchyard behind an Austrian vil- 
lage church. Tombstones and graves about ; at back, the side 
of the church, showing its stained-glass windows, and a little 
sacristy door leading from it to yard; among the gravestones, a 
little to the left of centre of stage, is a half-broken ichite column. 

Enter Leah, sloicly, her hair streaming over her shoulders. 

Leah. [Sola.] TYliat seek I here? I know not; yet I 
feel I have a mission to fulfil. I feel that the cords of my 
soul are stretched to their utmost effort. Already seven 
days ! So long ! As the dead lights were placed about the 
body of Abraham, as the friends sat nightly at his feet and 
watched, [Slowly sinking down.] so have I sat for seven days, 
and wept over the corpse of my love ! [ With painful intensity.] 



620 CHOICE READINGS. 

/what have I done? Am I not a child of man? Is not love 
the right of all, like the air, the light? And, if I stretched 
my hands towards it, was it a crime? /When I first saw him, 
first heard the sound of his voice, something wound itself 
around my heart. Then first I knew why I was created, and 
for the first time was thankful for my lifeX [Laying her hand 
on her brow.'] Collect thyself, mind, and think! What has 
happened? I saw him yesterda}", — no ! eight days ago ! He 
was full of love: "You'll come," said he. I came. I left 
my people. I tore the cords that bound me to my nation, 
and came to him. He cast me forth into the night. And 
yet, my heart, you throb still. The Earth still stands, the 
Sun still shines, as if it had not gone down for ever for me. 
[Loiv.] /By his side stood a handsome maiden, and drew him 
away with caressing hands. It is her he loves, and to the 
Jewess he dares offer gold. [Starting up.]/ 1 will seek him ! 
I will gaze on his face, — [Church lit up, windows illuminated, 
organ heard soft.'] that deceitful, beautiful face. I will ask 
him what I have done, that — [Hides her head in her hands 
and weeps; organ sivetts louder, and then subsides again to low 
music] Perhaps he has been misled by some one, — some 
false tongue ! His looks, his words seem to reproach me. 
WI13- was I silent? Thou proud mouth, ye proud lips, why 
did you not speak? [Exultingly .] Perhaps he loves me still. 
Perhaps his soul, like mine, pines in nameless agony, and 
yearns for reconciliation./ [Music soft.] Why does my hate 
melt away at this soft voice with which Heaven calls to me ? 
That grand music. [Listening.] I hear voices; it sounds like 
a nuptial benediction ; perhaps it is a loving bridal pair. 
[Clasping her hands, and raising them on high.] Amen — 
amen ! to that benediction, whoever you may be. [Music 
stops.] I, poor desolate one, would like to see their happy 
faces; I must — this window. Yes, here I can see into 
the church. [Goes to window, looks in, screams, and comes 
down; speaks very fast.] Co I dream? Kind Heaven, that 
prayer, that amen, you heard it not. I call it back. You 
did not hear my blessing. You were deaf. Did no blood- 



LEAH, THE FORSAKEN. 621 

stained dagger drop down upon them ? "Tis he ! Revenge ! 
[Throivs off her mantle, disclosing white robe beneath; bares 
her arm, and rushes to the little door, but halts.] No ! Thou 
shalt judge ! Thine, Jehovah, is the vengeance. Thou alone 
canst send it. [Stands beside broken column, rests her left 
arm upon it, letting the other fall by her side. 

Enter Rudolf from the little door of church, with rose wreath 
in his hand. 

Bud. I am at last alone. I cannot endure the joy and 
merriment around me. How like mockery sounded the pious 
words of the priest. As I gazed towards the church windows, 
I saw a face, heard a muffled cry. I thought it was her face, 
her voice. 

Leah. [Coldly.] Did you think so? 

Bud. Leah! is it you? 

Leah. Yes. 

Bud. [Tenderly ,~] Leah — 

Leah. [With a gesture of contempt.'] Silence, perjured 
one ! Can the tongue that lied still speak ? The breath that 
called me wife now swear faith to another? Does it dare 
to mix with the pure air of heaven ? Is this the man I wor- 
shipped ? whose features I so fondly gazed upon ? Ah ! 
[Shuddering .] No — no ! The hand of Heaven has crushed, 
beaten, and defaced them ! The stamp of divinity no longer 
rests there ! [ Walks away. 

Bud. Leah ! hear me ! 

Leah. [Turning fiercely. ] Ha! You call me back ! lam 
pitiless now. 

Bud. You broke faith first. You took the money. 

Leah. Money ! What money? 

Bud. The money my father sent you. 

Leah. Sent me money ! For what? 

Bud. [Hesitating.'] To induce you to release me — to — 

Leah. That I might release you. And you knew it. You 
permitted it? 

Bud. I staked my life that you would not take it. 



622 CHOICE READINGS. 

Leah. And you believed I had taken it? 

Rud. How could I believe otherwise? I — 

Leah. [With rage.] And you believed I had taken it? 
Miserable Christian, and you cast me off ! Not a question 
was the Jewess worth. [Subdued, but vindictive."] This, -then, 
was thy work : this the eternity of love which you promised 
me. [Falling on her knees.] Forgive me, Heaven, that I for- 
got my nation to love this Christian. Let that love be lost 
in hate. Love is false, unjust ; hate endless, eternal. 

Bud. Cease these gloom}' words of vengeance, — I have 
wronged you. I feel it without your reproaches. I have 
sinned, but to sin is human, and it would be but human to 
forgive. 

Leah. You would tempt me again ? I do not know that 
voice. 

Hud. I will make good the evil I have done ; ay, an 
hundredfold. 

Leah. [Bitterly.] Ay, crush the flower, grind it under 
foot, then make good the evil you have done. [Fiercely.] 
No, no ! An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a heart for 
a heart. 

Hud. Hold, fierce woman, I will beseech no more! Do 
not tempt Heaven ; let it be the judge between us ! If I have 
sinned through love, see that you do not sin through hate. 

Leah. Blasphemer ! and you dare call on Heaven ! What 
commandment hast thou not broken? Thou shalt not swear 
falsely, — you broke faith with me ! Thou shalt not steal, — 
} r ou stole my heart. Thou shalt not kill, — what of life have 
you left me? 

Rud. [Advances towards her.] Hold, hold ! No more. 

Leah. [Repelling him.] The old man who died because I 
loved } T ou ; the woman who hungered because I followed 3^011 ; 
the infant who died of thirst because of you ; may they follow 
jow in dreams, and be a drag upon your feet forever ! May 
you wander as I wander, suffer shame as I now suffer it ! 
Cursed be the land you till ; may it keep faith with you, as 
3'ou kepjt faith with me ! Cursed be the unborn fruit of thy 



MARY STUART. 623 

marriage ! may it wither as my young heart has withered ! 
and, should it ever see the light, may its brows be blackened 
by the mark of Cain, and may it vainly pant for nourishment 
on its dying mother's breast ! [Snatching the wreath from his 
uplifted hand.~\ Cursed, thrice cursed may you be evermore ! 
and as nry people on Mount Ebal spoke, so speak I thrice, 
Amen ! Amen ! Amen ! 

[Rudolf, who has been standing as if petrified, drops on his 
knees, as the curtain descends on the tableau. 

MAEY STUAET. 

Schiller: Translated by Joseph Mellish. 



Act III. Scene IV. 
Characters : Elizabeth of England, Mary of Scotland, 
the Earls of Leicester and Shrewsbury, and Hannah 
Kennedy. Mary's nurse. Mary, having abdicated her 
throne, and after an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve her for- 
tunes, crossed over into England, threw herself on the protec- 
tion of Elizabeth, but teas there made a prisoner for life, 
axis removed from pHson to prison, was at last tried on a 
charge of conspiracy against the life of Elizabeth, and sen- 
tenced to death. In the hope of arresting the execution of that 
sentence, Mary solicited, and at length obtained, the privilege 
of an interview with Elizabeth. This took 2^1 ace at the Cas- 
tle of Fotheringay. in 1586. The scene opens just on the 
arrived of Elizabeth and her retinue cd the castle. 

Eliza. What seat is that, rny Lord? 
Leices. "Tis Fotheringay. 

Eliza. \_To Shrews.] M} t Lord, send back our retinue 
to London : 
The people crowd too eager in the roads ; 
We'll seek a refuge in this quiet park. 

[Shrews, sends the train away. 



624 CHOICE READINGS. 

My honest people love me overmuch : 

Thus should a God be honour'd, not a mortal. 

Mary. [ Who the whole time had leaned on Kennedy, rises 
now, and her eyes meet those of Eliza.] O God ! 
from out these features speaks no heart. 

Eliza. What lady's that ? [A general silence. 

Leices. You are at Fotheringay, 

My Liege ! 

Eliza. \_As if surprised.~\ Who hath done this, my Lord 
of Leicester? 

Leices. 'Tis past, my Queen : and, now that Heaven hath 
led 
Your footsteps hither, lie magnanimous, 
And let sweet pity be triumphant now. 

Shreivs. O royal mistress ! yield to our entreaties : 
O, cast your eyes on this unhappy one, 
Who stands dissolved in anguish. 

[Mary collects herself, and begins to advance towards 
Eliza. ; stojis shuddering at half ivay. 

Eliza. How, my Lords ! 

Which of you then announced to me a prisoner 
Bow'd down by woe? I see a haughty one, 
By no means humbled by calamit}'. 

Mary. Well, be it so : to this will I submit. — ■ 
Farewell high thought, and pride of noble mind ! 
I will forget my dignity, and all 
My sufferings ; I will fall before her feet, 
Who hath reduced me to this wretchedness. — 
The voice of Heaven decides for you, my sister. 
Your happy brows are now with triumph crown' d ; 
I bless the Power Divine which thus hath raised you : 
[Kneeling. ~\ But in your turn be merciful, my sister; 
Let me not lie before you thus disgraced : 
Stretch forth your hand, your royal hand, to raise 
Your sister from the depths of her distress. 

Eliza. You are where it becomes you, Lady Stuart; 
And thankfully I prize my God's protection, 



MARY STUART. G25 

Who hath not suffered me to kneel a suppliant 
Thus at your feet, as you now kneel at mine. 

Mary. Think on all earthly things, vicissitudes. 
O ! there are gods who punish haughty pride : 
Respect them, honour them, the dreadful ones 
Who thus before thy feet have humbled me ! 
Before these strangers' eyes, dishonour not 
Yourself in me : profane not, nor disgrace 
The royal blood of Tudor. In my veins 
It flows as pure a stream as in your own. 

! for God's pity, stand not so estrauged 
And inaccessible, like some tall cliff, 
Which the poor shipwreck 'd mariner in vain 
Struggles to seize, and labours to embrace. 

Eliza. What would you say to me, my Lad}* Stuart? 
You wish'd to speak with me ; and I, forgetting 
The Queen, and all the wrongs I have sustain'd, 
Fulfil the pious duty of the sister, 
And grant the boon you wish'd for of nry presence. 
Yet I, in yielding to the generous feelings 
Of magnanimity, expose myself 
To rightful censure, that I stoop so low : 
For well you know, you would have had me murder'd. 

Mary. O ! how shall I begin? 0, how shall I 
So artfulry arrange my cautious words, 
That they ma}* touch, }*et not offend y our heart? 

1 am a Queen, like 3*011, yet you have held me 
Confined in prison. As a suppliant 

I came to 3*011, yet you in me insulted 
The pious use of hospitality ; 
Slighting in me the hol} T law of nations, 
Immured me in a dungeon, tore from me 
My friends and servants ; to unseemly want 
I was exposed, and hurried to the bar 
Of a disgraceful, insolent tribunal. 
Xo more of this : in everlasting silence 
Be buried all the cruelties I suffer'd ! 



626 CHOICE READINGS. 

See, I will throw the blame of all on fate ; 
'Twas not your fault, no more than it was mine : 
An evil spirit rose from the abyss, 
To kindle in our hearts the flames of hate, 
By which our tender youth had been divided : 
It grew with us, and bad, designing men 
Fanu'd with their ready breath the fatal fire. 
Now sta'nd we face to face : now, sister, speak ; 
Name bat my crime, I'll fully satisfy you : 
Alas ! had you vouchsafed to hear me then, 
When I so earnest sought to meet your e} T e, 
It never would have come to this, nor would, 
Here in this mournful place, have happen'd now 
This so distressful, this so mournful meeting. . 

Eliza. My better stars preserved me. I was warn'd, 
And laid not to my breast the poisonous adder ! 
Accuse not fate ! your own deceitful heart 

It was, the wild ambition of your House. 

But God is with me, and the haughty foe 

Has not maintain'd the field. The blow was aim'd 

Full at my head, but yours it is which falls ! 

Mary. I'm in the hand of Heaven. You never will 

Exert so cruelly the power it gives you. 

Eliza. Who shall prevent me? Say, did not your uncle 

Set all the Kings of Europe the example, 

How to conclude a peace with those they hate ? 

Force is my only surety ; no alliance 

Can be concluded with a race of vipers. 

Mary. O, this is but your wretched, dark suspicion ! 

For you have constantly regarded me 

But as a stranger, and an enemy. 

Had you declared me heir to your dominions, 

As is my right, then gratitude and love 

In me had fix'd, for you, a faithful friend 

And kinswoman. 

Eliza. Your friendship is abroad. 

Name you my successor ! The treacherous snare ! 



MARY STUART. 627 

That in my life you might seduce my people ; 
And, like a sly Armida, in your net 
Entangle all our noble English youth ; 
That all might turn to the new rising Sun, 
And I — 

Mary. O sister, rule your realm in peace : 
I give up every claim to these domains : 
Alas I the pinions of my soul are lamed ; 
Greatness entices me no more : 3*our point 
Is gain'd ; I am but Mary's shadow now ; 
My noble spirit is at last broke down 
By long captivity : you've done your worst 
On me ; you have destroy'd me in my bloom ! 
Now end your work, 1113' sister ; speak at length 
The word, which to pronounce has brought you hither ; 
For I will ne'er believe that you are come 
To mock unfeelingly 3*0111* hapless victim. 
Pronounce this word ; sa3*, " Mary, 3011 are free : 
You have already felt my power • learn now 
To honour too m3* generosity." 
Say this, and I will take 1113' life, will take 
My freedom, as a present from your hands. 
One word makes all undone ; I wait for it : 
O. let it not be needlessly delay 'd : 
Woe to you, if you end not with this word ! 
For, should you not, like some divinity 
Dispensing noble blessings, quit me now, 
Then, sister, not for all this island's wealth, 
For all the realms encircled by the deep, 
Would I exchange my present lot for yours. 

Eliza. And you confess at last, that 3*011 are conquer'd. 
Are all 3*0111- schemes run out? no more assassins 
Now on the road ? will no adventurer 
Attempt again, for you, the sad achievement? 
Yes, madam, it is over: 3*ou'll seduce 
No mortal more. The world has other cares ; 



628 CHOICE READINGS. 

None is ambitious of the dangerous honour 
Of being your fourth husband : you destroy 
Your wooers like your husbands. 

Mary. Sister, sister ! — 

Grant me forbearance, all ye powers of Heaven ! • 

Eliza. Those then, my Lord of Leicester, are the charms 
Which no man with impunity can view, 
Near which no woman dare attempt to stand? 
In sooth, this honour has been cheaply gain'd ; 
She who to all is common may with ease 
Become the common object of applause. 

Mary. This is too much ! 

Eliza. You show us now, indeed, 

Your real face ; till now 'twas but the mask. 

Mary. My sins were human, and the faults of youth; 
Superior force misled me. I have never 
Denied or sought to hide it : I despised 
All false appearance as became a Queen : 
The worst of me is known, and I can say 
That I am better than the fame I bear. 
Woe to you ! when, in time to come, the world 
Shall draw the robe of honour from your deeds. 
Virtue was not your portion from 3-our mother ; 
Well know we what it was which brought the head 
Of Anna Boleyn to the fatal block. 

Shrews. [Stepping between them.'] O Heaven ! Alas, and 
must it come to this ? 
Is this the moderation, the submission, 
My Lady? — 

Mary. Moderation ! I've supported 

What human nature can support : farewell, 
Lamb-hearted resignation ! passive patience, * 

Fly to thy native Heaven ! burst at length 
Thy bonds, come forward from thy dreary cave. 
In all thy fury, long-suppressed rancour ! 
And thou, who to the anger'd basilisk 



MARY STUART. 629 

Impart st the murderous glance. 0. arm my tongue 
With poison'd darts ! 

Shrews. She is beside herself! 

Exasperated, mad ! My Liege, forgive her. 

Leices. Attend not to her rage ! Away, away. 
From this disastrous place ! 

Mary. A bastard soils. 

Profanes the English throne ! The generous Britons 
Are cheated by a juggler, whose whole figure 
I- false and painted, heart as well as face ! 
If right prevailed, you now would in the dust 
Before me lie. for I'm your rightful monarch ! 

[Eliza hastily quits the stage; the Lords follow her in 

great consternation. 

Ken. What have you done ? She has gone hence in wrath. 
All hope is over now ! 

Ma . Gone hence in wrath ! 

She carries death within her heart ! I know it. 

[Falling on Kennedy's bosom. 
Now I am happy, Hannah ! and at last. 
After whole years of sorrow and abasement. 
One moment of victorious revenge ! 
A weight falls off my heart, a weight of mountains : 
I plunged the steel in my oppressor's breast ! 

Ken. Unhappy Lady ! frenzy overcomes you : 
Yes. you have wounded your inveterate foe ; 
'Tis she who wields the lightning, she is Queen ; 
You have insulted her before her minion. 

Mary. I have abased her before Leicester's eyes ; 
He saw it. he was witness of my triumph. 
How did I hurl her from her haughty height. 
He saw it. and his presence strengthened me. 



630 CHOICE READINGS. 

EICHELIEU; 0E, THE CONSPIRACY. 

Lord Bulwer-Lytton. 



Act IV. Scene I. 

Characters: Louis XIII., King of France; Cardinal 
Richelieu, Minister of France; Julie de Mortimer, an 
orphan ward to Richelieu, and afterwards wife of Adrian 
de Mauprat ; Joseph, a Capuchin Monk, and Richelieu's 
confidant; Clermont, a courtier, and Baradas;, the King's 
favourite. Julie, through the aid of the Queen, having 
escaped the clutches of Louis XIII., flies to the castle of 
Cardinal Richelieu, and seeks protection of him. She 
also implores Richelieu to protect her husband, who had been 
seized and made prisoner by Baradas. The King sends 
Clermont to conduct Julie into his presence, but Richelieu 
refuses to give her up. He then sends Baradas to demand 
her presence ; but Richelieu, in his hour of political helpless- 
ness, throws around his ward the holy protection of the 
Church, and defies the power of the King. 

Julie. \_To Richelieu.] I ask thee for my home, my 
fate, my all ! 
Where is my husband ? 

Rich. You are Richelieu's ward, 

A soldier's bride ; they who insist on truth 
Must out-face fear : 3011 ask me for your husband ? 
There, where the clouds of heaven look darkest o'er 
The domes of the Bastile ! 

Julie. O, mere}', mercy ! 

Save him, restore him, father ! Art thou not 
The Cardinal King? the Lord of life and death, 
Art thou not Richelieu? 

Rich. Yesterday I was ; 

To-day a very weak old man ; to-morrow, 
I know not what. 



RICHELIEU. 631 

Julie. [To Joseph.] Do you conceive his meaning ? 
Alas I cannot. 

Jos. The King is chafed 

Against his servant. Lady, while we speak, 
The lacquey of the ante-room is not 
More powerless than the Minister of France. 

Ente7- Clermont. 

Cler. Madame de Mauprat ! — 
Pardon, your Eminence ; even now I seek 
This lady's home, — commanded by the King 
To pray her presence. 

Julie. [Clinging to Kich.] Think of my dead father, 
And take me to your breast. 

Rich- To those who sent you ! 

And sa}* you found the virtue they would slay 
Here, couch'd upon this heart, as at an altar, 
And shelter' d by the wings of sacred Rome ! 
Be gone ! 

Cler. My Lord, I am your friend and servant, 
Misjudge me not ; but never yet was Louis 
So roused against you : shall I take this answer? 
It were to be your foe. . 

Rich. All time my foe, 

If I, a priest, could cast this holy sorrow 
Forth from her last asylum ! 

Cler. He is lost ! [Exit Clermont. 

Rich. God help thee, child ! — She hears not ! Look 
upon her ! 
The storm, that rends the oak, uproots the flower. 
Her father loved me so ! and in that age 
AVhen friends are brothers ! She has been to me 
Soother, nurse, plaything, daughter. Are these tears? 
O, shame, shame ! dotage ! [Places he?* in the arms of 'J oseph. 

Jos. Tears are not for eyes 

That rather need the lightning ! which can pierce 
Through barred gates and triple walls, to smite 



632 CHOICE READINGS. 

Crime, where it cowers in secret ! The dispatch! 
Set every spy to work ; the morrow's Sun 
Must see that written treason in your hands, 
Or rise upon your ruin. 

Rich. Ay, and close 

Upon my corpse ; I am not made to live : 
Friends, glor} T , France, all reft from me ; my star, 
Like some vain holiday mimicry of fire, 
Piercing imperial heaven, and falling down 
Rayless and blacken'd, to the dust, — a thing 
For all men's feet to trample ! Yea, to-morrow 
Triumph or death ! — Look up, child ! — Lead us, Joseph ! 

As they are going up, enter Baradas. 

Bar. My Lord, the King cannot believe your Eminence 
So far forgets your duty, and his greatness, 
As to resist his mandate. — Pray 30U, madam, 
Obey the King ; no cause for fear. 

Julie. My father ! 

Rich. She shall not stir ! 

Bar. You are not of her kindred ; 

An orphan — 

Rich. And her country is her mother. 

Bar. The country is the King. 

Rich. Ay, is it so? 

Then wakes the power which in the age of iron 
Bursts forth to curb the great, and raise the low. 
Mark, where she stands : around her form I draw 
The awful circle of our solemn Church ! 
Set but a foot within that holy ground, 
And on thy head — yea, though it wore a crown — 
I launch the curse of Rome ! 

Bar. I dare not brave xoxx ; 

I do but speak the orders of my King : 
The Church, your rank, power, very word, my Lord, 
Suffice you for resistance ; blame jourself , 
If it should cost your power. 



RICHELIEU. 633 

Rich. That's my stake. Ah ! 

Dark gamester ! what is thine? Look to it well, — 
Lose not a trick. By this same hour to-morrow 
Thou shalt have France, or I \hj head ! 

Bar. [Aside.] He cannot 

Have the dispatch ! 

Jos. [Aside, to Richelieu.] Patience is your game ; 
Reflect, you have not the dispatch ! 

Rich. monk ! 

Leave patience to the saints, for I am human ! — 
[ To Julie.] Did not thy father die for France, poor orphan ? 
And now they say thou hast no father ! Fie ! 
Art thou not pure and good? if so, thou art 
A part of that — the Beautiful, the sacred — 
Which, in all climes, men that have hearts adore, 
By the great title of their mother country ! 

Bar. [Aside."] He wanders ! 

Rich. So, cling close unto my breast : 

Here where thou droop'st lies France ! I'm very feeble, — 
Of little use it seems to either now. 
Well, well, we will go home. [They go up the stage.] 

Bar. In sooth, my Lord, 

You do need rest ; the burdens of the State 
O'ertask your health. 

Rich. [To Joseph; pauses.] I'm patient, see ! 

Bar. [Aside.] His mind 

And life are breaking fast. 

Rich. [Overhearing him.] Irreverent ribald ! 
If so, beware the falling ruins ! Hark ! 
I tell thee, scorner of these whitening hairs, 
When this snow melteth there shall come a flood ! 
Avaunt ! my name is Richelieu, — I defy thee ! 
Walk blindfold on ; behind thee stalks the headsman. — 
Ha ! ha ! — how pale he is ! Heaven save m}' country ! 

[Falls back in Joseph's arms. Julie kneels at his side; 

Baradas stands. 
Curtain falls. 



634 CHOICE READINGS. 



THE SCHOOL POE SCANDAL. 

Richard Brinsley Sheridan. 



Act II. Scene I. 

Sir Peter Teazle, a rich old bachelor, marries the daughter 
of a poor country squire, having been captivated by her youth, 
beauty, and fascinating manners. Suddenly raised from 
poverty to the wealth for which she marries, she plunges into 
every extravagance, gayety, and frivolity, much to the displeas- 
ure of Sir Peter. The disparity of their ages causes him to 
be sneered at by his acquaintances, and to be beset and per- 
plexed by the assaults of a flippant society. This state of 
affairs is a constant irritant, resulting, very naturally, in 
many matrimonial quarrels. 

Scene : Sir Peter's house. 

Enter Lady Teazle and Sir Peter. 

Sir P. Lad} T Teazle, Lady Teazle, I'll not bear it ! 

Lady T. Sir Peter, Sir Peter, 3-011 may bear it or not, as 
3 T ou please ; but I ought to have my own wscy in every thing ; 
and, what's more, I will too. What though I was educated 
in the countiy, I know very well that women of fashion in 
London are accountable to nobocly after they are married. 

Sir P. Very well, ma'am, very well ; so a husband is to 
have no influence, no authority? 

Lady T. Authority ! No, to be sure : if you wanted 
authorit}' over me, you should have adopted me, and not 
married me ; I am sure you were old enough. 

Sir P. Old enough ! ay, there it is ! Well, well, Lady 
Teazle, though my life may be made unhappy by your tem- 
per, I'll not be ruined b}^ your extravagance. 

Lady T. My extravagance ! I'm sure I'm not more ex- 
travagant than a woman ought to be. 

Sir P. No, no, madam, you shall throw away no more 
sums on such unmeaning luxury. 'Slife ! to spend as much 



THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL. 635 

to furnish your dressing-room with flowers in TVinter as 
would suffice to turn the Pantheon into a green-house, and 
give a fete champetre at Christmas ! 

Lady T. Sir Peter, am I to blame because flowers are 
dear in cold weather? You should find fault with the cli- 
mate, and not with me. For my part, I'm sure, I wish it 
was Spring all the year round, and that roses grew under our 
feet! 

Sir P. Oons, madam ! if you had been born to this, I 
shouldn't wonder at your talking thus ; but you forget what 
your situation was when I married you. 

Lady T. No, no, I don't ; 'twas a very disagreeable one, 
or I should never have married you. 

Sir P. Yes, 3-es, madam, you were then in somewhat a 
humbler style, — the daughter of a plain country Squire. 
Recollect, Lady Teazle, when I first saw you sitting at } T our 
tambour, in a pretty figured linen gown, with a bunch of 
keys at your side ; your hair combed smooth over a roll, 
and your apartment hung round with fruits in worsted, of 
3'our own working. 

Lady T. O, }*es ! I remember it very well, and a curious 
life I led. My daily occupation to inspect the dairy, superin- 
tend the poultry, make extracts from the family receipt- 
book, — and comb my Aunt Deborah's lap-dog. 
Sir P. Yes, yes, ma'am, 'twas so, indeed ! 
Lady T. And then, you know, my evening amusements : 
To draw patterns for ruffles, which I had not materials to 
make up ; to play Pope Joan with the curate ; to read a ser- 
mon to my aunt ; or to be stuck down to an old spinet to 
strum my father to sleep after a fox-chase. 

Sir P. I am glad you have so good a memoiy. Yes, 
madam, these were the recreations I took you from ; but 
now you must have your coach — vis-ti-vis — and three pow- 
dered footmen before your chair ; and. in the Summer, a pair 
of white cats to draw you to Kensington Gardens. No rec- 
ollection, I suppose, when you were content to ride double, 
behind the butler, ou a docked coach-horse. 



636 CHOICE READINGS. 

Lady T. No, I swear I never did that! I deny the 
butler and the coach-horse. 

Sir P. This, madam, was your situation ; and what have 
I done for you? I have made you a woman of fashion, of 
fortune, of rank ; in short, I have made you my wife. 

Lady T. Well then, and there is but one thing more 
you can make me, add to the obligation, and that is — 

Sir P. My widow, I suppose? 

Lady T. Hem ! hem ! 

Sir P. I thank you, madam, but don't flatter jxmrself; 
for, though your ill conduct may disturb my peace of mind, 
it shall never break my heart, I promise you : however, I am 
equahV obliged to you for the hint. 

Lady T. Then why will you endeavour to make yourself 
so disagreeable to me, and thwart me in every little elegant 
expense? 

Sir P- 'Slife, madam ! I say, had you any of these little 
elegant expenses when you married me ? 

Lady T. Lud, Sir Peter ! would you have me be out of 
the fashion ? 

Sir P. The fashion, indeed ! What had }'ou to do with 
the fashion before you married me? 

Lady T. For my part, I should think you would like to 
have your wife thought a woman of taste. 

Sir P. Ay, there again ! taste ! Zounds, madam ! you had 
no taste when you married me. 

Lady T. That's very true indeed, Sir Peter; and, after 
having married you, I should never pretend to taste again, I 
allow. But now, Sir Peter, since we have finished our daily 
jangle, I presume I may go to my engagement at Lady 
SneerweH's? 

Sir P. Ay, there's another precious circumstance, — a 
charming set of acquaintance you have made there ! 

Lady T. Nay, Sir Peter, they are all people of rank and 
fortune, and remarkably tenacious of reputation. 

Sir P. Yes, egad, they are tenacious of reputation with a 
vengeance ; for they don't choose anybody should have a 



THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL. 637 

character but themselves. Such a crew ! Ah ! many a 
wretch has rid on a hurdle who has done less mischief than 
these utterers of forged tales, coiners of scandal, and clip- 
pers of reputation. 

Lady T. What ! would yon restrain the freedom of speech ? 

Sir P. Ah ! the}^ have made you just as bad as any one 
of the society. 

Lady T. WI13', I believe I do bear a part with a tolerable 
grace. 

Sir P. Grace, indeed ! 

Lady T. But I vow I bear no malice against the people I 
abuse. When I sa}* an ill-natured thing, 'tis out of pure 
good-humour ; and I take it for granted, the} T deal exactly 
in the same manner with me. But, Sir Peter, you know you 
promised to come to Lady Sneerwell's too. 

Sir P. Well, well ; I'll call in just to look after my own 
character. 

Lady T. Then indeed you must make haste after me, or 
you'll be too late. So, good-bye to ye ! [Exit Lady Teazle. 

Sir P. So ! I have gained much by my intended expos- 
tulation ; yet with what a charming air she contradicts 
every thing I say, and how pleasingly she shows her con- 
tempt for my authority ! Well, though I can't make her 
love me, there is great satisfaction in quarrelling with her ; 
and I think she never appears to such advantage as when 
she is doing every thing in her power to plague me. [Exit. 



Act III. Scene I. 

Scene : Sir Peter Teazle's house. More matrimonial 
troubles. Sir Peter has been bitterly reproving his ward, 
Maria, who has just left the room. 

Sir P. Was ever man so crossed as I am ? Every thing 
conspiring to fret me ! I had not been involved in matri- 
mony a fortnight, before her father, a hale and hearty man, 



638 CHOICE READINGS. 

died, on purpose, I believe, for the pleasure of plaguing me 
with the care of his daughter. [Lady Teazle sings ivithout.] 
But here comes m}~ helpmate ! She appears in great good- 
humour. How happy I should be if I could tease her into 
loving me, though but a little ! ' 

Enter Lady Teazle. 

Lady T. Lud ! Sir Peter, I hope you haven't been quar- 
relling with Maria ? It is not using me well to be ill-humoured 
when I am not by. 

Sir P. Ah ! Lady Teazle, you might have the power to 
make me good-humoured at all times. 

Lady T. I am sure I wish I had ; for I want }^ou to be in 
a charming sweet temper at this moment. Do be good- 
humoured now, and let me have two hundred pounds, will j t ou ? 

Sir P. Two hundred pounds ! What, ain't I to be in a 
good-humour without paying for it? But speak to me thus, 
and i' faith there's nothing I could refuse }'OU. You shall 
have it; [Gives her notes.'] but seal me a bond of repay- 
ment. 

Lady T. O no ! there, my note of hand will do as well. 
[Offering her hand.] 

Sir P. And }~ou shall no longer reproach me with not 
giving you an independent settlement. I mean shortly to 
surprise you : but shall we always live thus, hey? 

Lady T. If you please. I'm sure I don't care how soon 
we leave off quarrelling, provided you'll own you were tired 
first. 

Sir P. Well, then let our future contest be, who shall 
be most obliging. 

Lady T. I assure you, Sir Peter, good-nature becomes 
you. You look now as you did before we were married, 
when you used to walk with me under the elms, and tell me 
stories of what a gallant 30U were in your youth ; and chuck 
me under the chin, you would; and ask me if I thought I 
could love an old fellow, who would deny me nothing ; 
didn't vou? 



THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL. 639 

Sir P. Yes, yes 1 ? and you were as kind and attentive — ■ 

Lady T. Ay, so I was, and would always take your part, 
when my acquaintance used to abuse you, and turn you into 
ridicule. 

Sir P. Indeed! 

Lady T. Ay, and when my cousin Soph}* has called you 
a stiff, peevish old bachelor, and laughed at me for thinking 
of marrying one who might be my father, I have always 
defended }*ou, and said I didn't think you so ugly by any 
means. 

Sir P. Thank you. 

Lady T. And I dared say you'd make a very good sort 
of a husband. 

Sir P. And you prophesied right; and we shall now be 
the happiest couple — 

Lady T. And never differ again. [Both sit.~\ 

Sir P. No, never! — though at the same time, indeed, 
my dear Lady Teazle, you must watch your temper very 
seriously ; for in all our little quarrels, my dear, if you rec- 
ollect, my love, you always begin. 

Lady T. I beg your pardon, my dear Sir Peter ; indeed, 
you always gave the provocation. 

Sir P. Now see, my angel! take care, — contradicting 
isn't the way to keep friends. 

Lady T. Then don't you begin it, my love ! 

Sir P. There, now! you — you are going on. You don't 
perceive, my life, that you are just doing the very thing 
which you know always makes me angry. 

Lady T. Nay, you know if you will be angry without any 
reason, my dear — 

Sir P. There ! now you want to quarrel again. 

Lady T. No, I am sure I don't; but if you will be so 
peevish — 

Sir P. There now ! who begins first? 

Lady T. Why, }*ou, to be sure. [Both start up.~\ I said 
nothing ; but there's no bearing your temper. 

Sir P. No, no, madam ; the fault's in your own temper. 



640 CHOICE READINGS. 

Lady T. Ay, you are just what my cousin Sophy said 
you would be. 

Sir P. Your cousin Sophy is a forward, impertinent 

gypsy. 

Lady T. You are a great bear, I'm sure, to abuse my 
relations. 

Sir P. Now, may all the plagues of marriage be doubled 
on me, if ever I try to be friends with you any more. 

Lady T. So much the better. 

Sir P. No, no, madam ; 'tis evident you never cared a 
pin for me, and I was a madman to marry you, — a pert, 
rural coquette, that had refused half the honest squires in 
the neighbourhood. 

Lady T. And I am sure I was a fool to marry you, —an 
old dangling bachelor, who was single at fifty, only because 
he never could meet with any one who would have him. 

Sir P. A}', ay, madam ; but you were pleased enough to 
listen to me ; you never had such an offer before. 

Lady T. No? didn't I refuse Sir Tivy Terrier, who every- 
body said would have been a better match? for his estate is 
just as good as yours, and he has broke his neck since we 
have been married. 

Sir P. I have done with } t ou, madam ! You are an un- 
feeling, ungrateful — but there's an end of everything. I 
believe you capable of every thing that is bad. Yes, 
madam, I now believe the reports relative to you and 
Charles, madam. Yes, madam, you and Charles are — not 
without grounds — 

Lady T. Take care, Sir Peter! } r ou had better not insinu- 
ate any such thing ! I'll not be suspected without cause, I 
promise 3 7 ou. 

Sir P. Very well, madam ! very well ! A separate main- 
tenance as soon as you please ! Yes madam, or a divorce ! 
I'll make an example of myself for the benefit of all old 
bachelors. Let us separate, madam. 

Lady T. Agreed, agreed ! And, now, nry dear Sir Peter, 
we are of a mind once more, we may be the happiest couple, 



VIRGINIUS. 641 

and never differ again, }T)u know, — ha! ha! ha! Well, 
you are going to be in a passion, I see, and I shall only 
interrupt you ; so, bye, bye. [Exit. 

Sir P. Plagues and tortures ! Can't I make her angry, 
either? O, I am the most miserable fellow! but I'll not 
bear her presuming to keep her temper. [Exit. 

VIKGItflUS. 

James Sheridan Knowles. 



Act I. Scene II. 

Characters : Virginius, a Roman Father ; Virginia, his 
daughter ; Servia, godmother to Virginia ; Icilius, a young 
Roman soldier, in love with Virginia ; Dentatus, an old 
Decemvir. 

Scene : Virginius' house in Rome. 

Enter Virginius and Servia, with some of Virginia's work 
in her hand. 

Vir. And is this all you have observed ? I think 
There's nothing strange in that. An L and an I, 
Twined with a V. Three very innocent letters, 
To have bred such mischief in thy brain, good Servia ! 
Come, read this riddle to me. 

Serv. You may laugh, 

Virginius, but I will read the riddle right. 
The L cloth stand for Lucius ; and the I, 
Icilius ; which, I take it, will compose 
Lucius Icilius. 

Vir. So it will, good Servia. 

Serv. Then, for the V ; why, that is plain Virginia. 

Vir. And now what conjuration find you here ? 

Serv. What should I find but love? The maid's in love, 



642 CHOICE READINGS. 

And it is with Icilius. Look, the wreath 
Is made of roses, that entwines the letters. 

Vir. And this is all ? 

Serv. And is it not enough ? 

You'll find this figuring where'er } t ou look : 
There's not a piece of dainty work she does, — 
Embroidery or painting, — not a task 
She finishes, but on the skill or border, 
In needle-work or pencil, this her secret 
The silly wench betrays. 

Vir. Go, send her to me. 

Stay ! Have you spoken to her of it ? 

Serv. I? 

Not I, indeed ; I left that task to you. 
Though once 1 ask'cl her what the letters meant, 
She laugh'd, and drew a scratch across them ; but 
Had scarce done so, ere her fair visage fell, 
For grief that she had spoil'd the ciphers ; and 
A sigh came out, and then almost a tear ; 
And she did look as piteous on the harm 
That she had done, as she had done it to 
A thing had sense to feel it. Never after 
She let me note her at the work again. 
She had good reason ! 

Vir. Send her to me, Servia. [Exit Servia. 

There's something here that looks as it would bring me 
Anticipation of my wish. I think 
Icilius loves my daughter, — nay, I know it ; 
And such a man I'd challenge for her husband, 
And only waited till her forward Spring 
Put on, a little more, the genial likeness 
Of colouring into Summer, ere I sought 
To nurse a flower, which, blossoming too early. 
Too early often dies ; but, if it wooes 
Our hand to tend and cherish it, the growth 
Is natural, and 'twere unkind to check it. 
I'll ascertain it shortly : soft ! she comes. [Sits. 



VIRGINIUS. 64; 



Enter Virginia. 



Virg. Well, father, what's y our will? 

Vir. I wish'd to see you, 

To ask you of your tasks, — how the}- go on ; 
And what 3-our masters say of } r ou ; what last 
Yon did. I hope you never play the truant? 

Virg. The truant ! No, indeed, Yirginius. 

Vir. I'm sure you do not. Kiss me. 

Virg. O my father, 

I am so happy when you're kind to me ! 

Vir. You are so happy when I'm kind to you ! 
Am I not always kind ? I never spoke 
An angry word to you in all my life, 
Virginia ! You are happy when I'm kind ! 
That's strange ; and makes me think 30U have some 
Reason to fear I may be otherwise than kind : 
Is't so, my girl? 

Virg. Indeed, I did not know 

What I was saying to you ! 

Vir. Why, that's worse 

And worse ! What ! when you said your father's kindness 
Made you so happ}-, am I to believe 
You were not thinking of him? 

Virg. I — [Greatly confused. 

Vir. Go, fetch me 

The latest task you did. It is enough. — [Exit Virginia. 
Her artless speech, like crystal, shows the thing 
'Twouid hide, but only covers. 'Tis enough ! 
She loves, and fears her father may condemn. 

Re-enter Virginia with a painting. 

Virg. Here, Sir. 
Vir. What's this? 

Virg. 'Tis Homer's history 

Of great Achilles parting from Briseis. 

Vir. You've done it well : the colouring is good ; 



644 CHOICE READINGS. 

The figure's well design'd : 'tis very well ! 
Whose face is this you've given to Achilles? 

Virg. Whose face ? 

Vir. I've seen this face ! Tut, tut ! I know it 

As well as I do my own, yet can't bethink me 
Whose face it is ! 

Virg. You mean Achilles' face ? 

Vir. Did I not say so ? 'Tis the very face 
Of — No, no ! not of him : there's too much youth 
And comeliness ; and too much fire to suit 
The face of Siccius Dentatus. 

Virg. O ! 

You surely never took it for his face ! 

Vir. Why, no ; for, now I look again, I'd swear 
You lost the copy ere jow drew the head, 
And, to requite Achilles for the want 
Of his own face, contrived to borrow one 
From Lucius Icilius. — My Dentatus, 

Enter Dentatus. 

I'm glad to see yon ! [Rises; Virginia retires. 

Den. 'Tis not for my news, then. 

Vir. Your news ! W r hat news ? 

Den. More violence and wrong from these new masters 
of ours, our noble Decemvirs, — these demi-gods of the good 
people of Rome ! No man's property is safe from them. 
Nay, it appears we hold our wives and daughters but by the 
tenure of their will. Their liking is the law. The Senators 
themselves, scared at their audacious rule, withdraw them- 
selves to their villas, and leave us to our fate. There are 
rumours, also, of new incursions by the Sabines. 

Vir. Rome never saw such days. 

Den. And she'll see worse, unless I fail in my reckoning. 
Is that Virginia? \_Goes to her.~\ I saw her not before. — 
How does the fair Virginia? — Why, she is quite a woman. 
I was just now wishing for a daughter. 

Vir. A plague, you mean. 



VIKGINIUS. 645 

Den. I'm sure you should not say so. 

Virg. Indeed he should not ; and he does not say so, 
Dentatus ; not that I am not a plague, 
But that he does not think me one, for all 
I do to weary him. I'm sure, Dentatus, 
If to be thought to do well is to do well, 
There's nothing I do ill. But it is far 
From that ! for few things do I as I ought ; 
Yet every thing is well done with my father, 
Dentatus. 

Vir. [Goes to tliem.~] That's well done, is it not, my 
friend? [Aside. 

But, if you had a daughter, what would you do with her ? 

Den. I'd give her to Icilius. I should have been just 
now torn to pieces, but for his good offices. The gentle citi- 
zens that are driven about by the Decemvirs' Lictors, like a 
herd of tame oxen, and, with the most beast-like docility, 
only low applauses to them in return, would have done me 
the kindness to knock my brains out ; but the noble Icilius 
bearded them singly, and railed them into temper. Had I 
a daughter worthy of such a husband, he should have such a 
wife, and a Patrician's dower along with her. 

Vir. I wish to speak with you, Dentatus. [They retire.~\ 
Icilius is a young man whom I honour, but so far only as his 
conduct gives me warrant. He has had, as thou knowest, a 
principal hand in helping us to our Decemvirs. It may be 
that he is what I would gladly think him ; but I must see 
him clearly, clearly, Dentatus. [Exeunt Vir. and Den. 

Virg. How is it with nay heart? I feel as one 
That has lost every thing, and just before 
Had nothing left to wish for ! He will cast 
Icilius off! — I never told it 3-et ; 
But take of me, thou gentle air, the secret, 
And ever after breathe more balm}' sweet, 
I love Icilius ! Yes, although to thee 
I fear to tell it, that hast neither eye 
To scan my looks, nor voice to echo me, 



646 CHOICE READINGS. 

Nor e'en an o'er- apt ear to catch my words ; 

Yet, sweet invisible confidant, my secret 

Once being thine, I tell thee, and I tell thee 

Again, and }'et again, I love Icilins ! 

He'll cast Icilius off ! — not if Icilius 

Approves his honour. That he'll ever do ; 

He speaks and looks and moves a thing of honour, 

Or honour ne'er yet spoke, or look'd, or moved, 

Or was a thing of Earth. — O, come, Icilius ! 

Do but appear, and thou art vindicated. 

Enter Icilius. 

Ici. Virginia ! sweet Virginia ! sure I heard 
My name pronounced. Was it by thee, Virginia? 
Thou dost not answer? Then it was by thee : 
O, wouldst thou tell me why thou namedst Icilius ! 

Virg. My father is incensed with thee : Dentatus 
Hag told him of the new Decern virate, 
How the} r abuse their office. You, he knows, 
Have favour' d their election, and he fears 
May have some understanding of their plans. 

Ici. He wrongs me then ! 

Virg. I thank the gods ! 

Ici. For me, 

Virginia? do you thank the gods for me? 
Your eye is moist, j T et that may be for pity ; 
Your hand doth tremble, that may be for fear ; 
Your cheek is cover'd o'er with blushes ! what, 
O, what can that be for? 

Virg. Icilius, leave me ! 

Ici. Leave thee, Virginia? O, a word, a word 
Trembles upon my tongue, which, if it match 
The thought that moves thee now, and thou wilt let me 
Pronounce that word, to speak that thought for thee, 
I'll breathe, though I expire in th' ecstasy 
Of uttering it. 

Virg. Icilius, will you leave me? 



virginius. 647 

Ici. Love, love. Virginia, love ! If I have spoke 
Thy thought aright, ne'er be it said again : 
The heart requires more service than the tongue 
Can, at its best, perform. My tongue hath served 
Two hearts ; but, lest it should o'erboast itself, 
Two hearts with but one thought. Virginia ! 
Virginia, speak. [She covers her face with her hands. 

O, I have loved thee long : 
So much the more ecstatic my delight, 
To find thee mine at length ! 

Virg. ~Mx secret's yours. 

Keep it and honour it, Icilius. 

He-enter Virgixius and Dentatus behind. 

Vir. Icilius here ! 

Virg. I ask thee now to leave me. 

Ici. Leave thee ! TTho leaves a treasure he has coveted 
So long, and found so newly, ere he scans it 
Again, and o'er again ; and asks and answers, 
Repeats and answers, answers and repeats, 
The half-mistrustful, half-assured question, 
And is it mine indeed ? 

Virg. Indeed, indeed ! 

Now leave me. 

Ici. I must see tlry father first, 

And lay my soul before him. 

Virg. Not to-night. 

Ici. Now worse than ever, dear Virginia, 
Can I endure his doubts : I'll lay my soul 
Naked before him ; win his friendship quite, 
Or lose myself forever ! [Going, is met by Virginius. 

Vir. Stop, Icilius ! 

Thou see'st that hand? It is a Roman's, boy ; 
'Tis sworn to liberty ; it is the friend 
Of honour. Dost thou think so ? 

Ici. Do I think 

Virginius owns that haud? 



648 CHOICE READINGS. 

Vir. Then you'll believe 

It has an oath deadly to tyrann} r , 
And is the foe of falsehood ! By the gods, 
Knew it the lurking place of treason, though 
It were a brother's heart, 'twould drag the caitiff 
Forth. Darest thou take the hand ? 

Id. I dare, Virginius. 

Vir. Then take it ! Is it weak in thy embrace ? 
Returns it not thy gripe ? Thou wilt not hold 
Faster b}' it than it will hold by thee. 
I overheard thee say, thou wast resolved 
To win mj* friendship quite : thou canst not win 
What thou hast won already ! You will stay 
And sup with us to-night? 

Den. To be sure, he will. 

Vir. And hark you, sir: 
At your convenient time, appoint a da}' 
Your friends and kinsmen may confer with me ; 
There is a bargain I would strike with you. 
Come to the supper-room. 



Act II. Scene II. 

Virginius' house. Enter Virginius, Icilius, Numitorius, 
Lucius, and others. 

Vir. Welcome, Icilius ! — Welcome, friends ! — Icilius, 
I did design to speak with you of feasting 
And merriment, but war is now the word, — - 
One that unlovingly keeps time with mirth, 
Unless war's own ; whene'er the battle's won, 
And, safe carousing, comrades drink to victory ! 

Id. Virginius, have you changed your mind? 

Vir. My mind? 

What mind? How now ! Are you that boy, Icilius, 
You set your heart so earnestly upon 
A dish of poor confections, that to baulk you 



VIRGINIUS. 649 

Makes you look blank ? I did design to feast you 
Together with your friends. The times are changed ; 
The march, the tent, the fight becomes us now ! 

Ici. Virginius ! 

Vir. Well? 

Ici. Virginius ! 

Vir. How the boy 

Reiterates my name ! 

Ici. There's not a hope 

I have, but is the client of Virginius. 

Vir. Well, well ! I only meant to put it off: 
We'll have the revel yet ; the board shall smoke ; 
The cup shall sparkle, and the jest shall soar 
And mock us from the roof. Will that content you? 
Not till the war be done, though. Yet, ere then, 
Some tongue, that now needs onry wag to make 
The table ring, may have a tale to tell 
So petrifying that it cannot utter it. 
I'll make all sure, that you ma}' be my guest 
At any rate ; although you should be forced 
To pla}* the host for me, and feast yourself. 
Look here. [Shows him a parchment.] How think you? 

Will it meet the charge ? 
Will it not do? We want a witness though : 
I'll bring one ; whom, if 3*011 approve, I'll sign 
Jhe bond. I'll wait upon you instantly. [Exit. 

Re-enter Virginius, with Virginia and Numitorius. 

Vir. [Holding his daughter's hand.'] You are my wit- 
nesses, 
That this young creature I present to you, 
I do pronounce my profitably-cherish'd, 
And most deservedly-beloved child ; 
My daughter, truty filial both in word 
And act, }*et even more in act than word ; 
And — for the man who seeks to win her love — ■ 
A virgin, from whose lips a soul as pure 



650 CHOICE READINGS. 

Exhales, as e'er responded to the blessing 

Breathed in a parent's kiss. [Kisses her.'] — Icilius ! [Icil. 

rushes towards Vir., and 'kneels.'] Since 
You are upon your knees, 3*oung man, look up, 
And lift your hands to Heaven. You will be all 
Her father has been, added unto all 
A lover would be ! 

Ici. All that man should be 

To woman, I will be to her ! 

Vir. The oath 

Is register'd ! [Icilius rises.] Didst thou but know, [Takes 

a hand of each.] young man, 
How fondly I have watch'd her, since the day 
Her mother died, and left me to a charge 
Of double duty bound ; how she hath been 
My ponder' d thought by day, my dream by night, 
My prayer, my vow, 1113- offering, my praise, 
M.y sweet companion, pupil, tutor, child ; 
Thou wouldst not wonder, that my drowning eye 
And choking utterance upbraid my tongue, 
That tells thee she is thine ! [Joins their hands.] Icilius, 
I do betroth her to thee ; let but the war 
Be done, you shall espouse her. Now farewell ; 
Your sword and buckler, boy ! The foe, the foe ! 
Does he not tread on Roman ground? Come on, 
Come on ! charge on him, drive him back, or die ! 

Act IV. Scene II. 

Appius, enamoured of Virginia, ivishes to get possession of 
her; to this end he engages Claudius to claim her as his slave, 
who ivas sold as an infant to the ivife of Virginius ; on the 
trial Claudius produces his sla.ve, who swears that Virginia is 
her child, and Appius, who is in power, accepts this false evi- 
dence. Enter Virginius, leading his daughter, Virginia ; 
Numitorius, her xincle; Icilius, her husband; Servia, her 
godmother ; and women and children. 



VLRGINIUS. 651 

Scene : The Forum. Appius seated on the tribunal, sur- 
rounded by his lictors and soldiers. Claudius stands near. 
A dead silence prevails. 

Vir. Does no one speak ? I am defendant here : 
Is silence my opponent? Fit opponent 
To plead a cause too foul for speech ! What brow, 
Shameless, gives front to this most valiant cause, 
And tries its prowess 'gainst the honour of 
A girl, yet lacks the wit to know that they 
Who cast off shame should likewise cast off fear, 
And on the verge o' the combat wants the nerve 
To stammer forth the signal ? 

App. You had better, 

Virginius, wear another kind of carriage : 
This is not of the fashion that will serve you. 

Vir. [Having left Virginia ivith Icilius.] The fashion, 
Appius ! Appius Claudius, tell me 
The fashion it becomes a man to speak in, 
Whose property in his own child, the offspring 
Of his own body, near to him as is 
His hand, his arm, — yea, nearer, closer far, 
Knit to his heart, — I say, who has this property 
Disputed, — and I'll speak so, Appius Claudius ; 
I'll speak so. Pray you, tutor me. 

App. Stand forth, 

Claudius ! If you lay claim to any interest 
I' the question now before us, speak ; if not, 
Bring on some other cause. 

Claud. Most noble Appius — 

Vir. And are }'Ou the man 

That claims my daughter for his slave ? Look at me, 
And I will give her to thee. 

Claud. She is mine, then : 

Do I not look at you ? 

Vir. Your eye does, truly, 

But not your sonl. I see it through your eye, 



652 CHOICE READINGS. 

Shifting and shrinking, turning every way 
To shun me. You surprise me, that 3-our eye 
But gives the port of impudence to falsehood, 
When it would pass it off for truth. Your soul 
Dares as soon show its face to me ! G-o on, 
I had forgot ; the fashion of my speech 
May not please Appius Claudius. 

Claud. I demand 

Protection of the Decemvir ! 

App. You shall have it. 

Vir. Doubtless ! 

App. Keep back the people, Lictors ! — What's 

Your plea? You say the girl's your slave. Produce 
Your proofs. 

Claud. My proof is here, which, if they can, 

Let them confront. The mother of the girl — 

[Virginius, about to speak, is withheld by Numitorius. 

Num. Hold, brother ! Hear them out, or suffer me 
To speak. 

Vir. Man, I must speak, or else go mad ! 
And if I do go mad, what then will hold me 
From speaking? Were't not better, brother, think you, 
To speak, and not go mad, than utter madness? 
Well, well, speak thou. I'll try, and, if I can, 
Be silent. [Retires. 

Num. Will she swear she is her child? 

Vir. [Starting forward. ~\ Be sure she will; a most wise 
question that ! 
She not his slave? Will his tongue lie for him, 
Or his hand steal, or the finger of his hand 
Beckon, or point, or shut, or open for him? 
To ask him if she'll swear ! Will she walk or run, 
Sing, dance, or wag her head? do any thing 
That is most easy done ? She'll swear as soon ! 
What mockery it is, to have one's life 
In jeopardy by such a bare-faced trick ! 
Is it to be endured ? I do protest 
Against her oath ! 



VIRGINIUS. 653 

App. No law in Rome, Virginius, 

Seconds you. If she swear the girl's her child, 
The evidence is good, unless confronted 
By better evidence. Look you to that, 
Virginius. I shall take the woman's oath. 

Virg. Icilius ! 

Id. Fear not, love : a thousand oaths 

Will answer her. 

App. [To the slave."] You swear the girl's your child, 
And that you sold her to Virginius' wife, 
Who pass'd her for her own. Is that your oath? 

Slave. [Coming round to the front of the tribunal.] It is 
nry oath. 

App. Your answer now, Virginius. 

Vir. [Bringing Virg. forward.] Here it is ! 
Is this the daughter of a slave? I know 
'Tis not with men, as shrubs and trees, that by 
The shoot you know the rank and order of 
The stem. Yet who from such a stem would look 
For such a shoot? My witnesses are these, — 
The friends and relatives of Numitoria. — 
Speak for me, friends : have I not spoke the truth? 

Women and Citizens. You have, Virginius. 

App. Silence ! keep silence there. No more of that ! 
You're very ready for a tumult, citizens. — 

[Troops appear behind. 
Lictors, make way to let these troops advance ! — 
We've had a taste of your forbearance, masters, 
And wish not for another. 

Vir. Troops i' the Forum ! 

App. Virginius, have you spoken? 

Vir. If you've heard me, 

I have ; if not, I'll speak again. 

App. You need not, 

Virginius ; I have evidence to give, 
Which, should you speak a hundred times again, 
Would make your pleading vain. 



654 CHOICE READINGS. 

Vir. [Aside. ] Your hand, Virginia ! 

Stand close to me. 

App. My conscience will not let me 

Be silent. 'Tis notorious to you all, 
That Claudius* father, at his death, declared me 
The guardian of his son. This cheat has long 
Been known to me. I know the girl is not 
Virgin ius' daughter. 

Vir. [Aside.'] Join your friends, Icilius, 
And leave Virginia to my care. 

Vir. [Aside.] Don't tremble, girl, don't tremble. 

App. t Virginius, 

I feel for yon ; but, though you were mj- father, 
The majestj' of justice should be sacred : 
Claudius must take Virginia home with him ! 

Vir. And, if he must, I should advise him, Appius, 
To take her home in time, before his guardian 
Complete the violation, which his eyes 

Alread} T have begun. — [Turning to citizens.] Friends, fel- 
low citizens I 
Look not on Claudius ; look on your Decemvir ! 
He is the master claims Virginia. 
The tongues that told him she was not my child 
Are these, — the costly charms he cannot purchase, 
Except by making her the slave of Claudius, 
His client, his purveyor, that caters for 
His pleasures ; markets for him; picks and scents 
And tastes, that he ma}' banquet ; serves him up 
His sensual feast, and is not now ashamed, 
In th' open, common street, before your e3 T es, — 
Frightening your daughters* and your matrons' cheeks 
With blushes they ne'er thought to meet, — to help him 
To th' honour of a Roman maid ! my child ! 
Who now clings to me, as you see, as if 
This second Tarquin had already coil'd 
His arms around her. Look upon her, Romans ! 
Befriend her ! succour her ! see her not polluted 



VIRGINIUS. 655 

Before her father's eyes ! He is but one. 

Tear her from Appius and his Lictors, while 

She is unstain'd. Your hands ! your hands ! your hands ! 

Citizens. Thej^'re j'ours, Virginius. 

App. Keep the people back : — 

Support my Lictors, soldiers ! — Seize the girl, 
And drive the people back. 

Id. Down with the slaves ! 

'[The people make a show of resistance, but, upon the ad- 
vancing of the soldiers, retreat, and leave Icilius, Vir- 
ginius, and his daughter in the hands of Appius and 
his party. 
Deserted ! — Cowards, traitors ! — Let me free, — 
Let me but loose a moment, if 'tis only 
To rush upon your swords ! 

Vir. Icilius, peace ! 

You see how 'tis ; we are deserted, left 
Alone, surrounded by our enemies, 
Nerveless and helpless. 

App. Away with him ! 

IcL Virginia ! — Tyrant ! — My Virginia ! 

App. Awa}' with him ! [Icil. is taken aside.~] Separate 
them, Lictors ! 

Vir. Let them forbear awhile. I pray } t ou, Appius : 
It is not very easy. Though her arms 
Are tender, yet the hold is strong by which 
She grasps me, Appius. Forcing them will hurt them. 
They'll soon unclasp themselves. Wait but a little ; 
You know you're sure of her ! 

App. I have not time 

To idle with thee ; give her to my Lictors . 

Vir. Appius, I pray you, wait ! If she is not 
My child, she hath been like a child to me 
For fifteen } T ears. If I am not her father, 
I have been like a father to her, Appius, 
For even such a time. Let me but take 
The maid aside, I pray you, and confer 



656 CHOICE READINGS. 

A moment with her nurse ; perhaps she'll give me 
Some token, will unloose a tie so twined 
And knotted round my heart, that, if you break it, 
My heart breaks with it. 

App. Have your wish. Be brief ! — 

Lictors, look to them. 

Virg. Do you go from me ? 

Do you leave ? Father ! Father ! 

Vir. No, my child ; 

No, my Virginia : come along with me. 

Virg. Will you not leave me ? Will you take me with you ? 
Will you take me home again? O, bless you, bless you ! 
My father ! my dear father ! Art thou not 
My father? 

[Virginius, perfectly at a loss what to do, looks anxiously 
around the Forum ; at length his eye falls on a butcher's 
stall, with a knife upon it. 

Vir. This way, my child. No, no ! I am not going 
To leave thee, my Virginia ! I'll not leave thee. 

App. Keep back the people, soldiers ! let them not 
Approach Virginius ! keep the people back ! — 

[Virginius secures the knife in the folds of his toga. 
Well, have } r ou done? 

Vir. Short time for converse, Appius ; but 
I have. 

App. I hope you're satisfied. 

Vir. I am — 

I am — that she's my daughter ! 

App. Take her, Lictors ! 

[Virginia shrieks, and falls half dead upon her father's 

shoulder. 

Vir. Another moment, pray you. Bear with me 
A little ; 'tis my last embrace : 'twon't try 
Your patience beyond bearing, if you're a man ! 
Lengthen it as I may, I cannot make it 

Long. — My dear child ! my dear Virginia ! [Kissing her. 
There is one only way to save thine honour, — 



ION ; A TRAGEDY. 657 

"Tis this ! — [Stabs her, and draws out the knife. She falls 

and dies.'] Lo, Appius ! with this innocent blood, 
I do devote thee to th' infernal gods ! — 
Make way there ! 

App. Stop him ! Seize him ! 

Vir. If they dare 

To tempt the desperate weapon that is madden'd 
With drinking my daughter's blood, why, let them : thus 
It rushes in amongst them. — Way there ! Way ! 

[Exit through the soldiers. 

oO^Oo 

ION; A TEAGEDT. 

Sir T. N. Talfourd. 



Act I. Scene I. 

Characters : Agenor, Cleon, and Timocles, Sages of 
Argos; Medon, High-Priest of Apollo; Clemanthe, his 
daughter; Habra, her attendant. Ion, the hero, was stolen 
from his nursery while an infant, by two villains, with the 
intent of putting him to death; but, just as they were in the 
act of doing this, one of the men perished through a sudden 
accident; which so struck the other with fear arid remorse 
that he left the child in the Grove of Apollo, ivhere he was 
found by Medon, and brought up as his foster-son. In the 
course of the play, Ion is disco vered to have been the first- 
born of Adrastus, the tyrant king of Argos. 

Scene : The interior of the Temple of Apollo, which is 
supposed to be built on a rocky eminence. Early morning. 

Present, Agenor : To him enter Cleon. 

Cleon. Agenor, hail ! 
Dark as our lot remains, 'tis comfort yet 
To find th}' age unstricken. 



658 CHOICE READINGS. 

Age. Rather mourn 

That I am destined still to linger here 
In strange unnatural strength, while death is round me. 
I chide these sinews that are framed so tough 
Grief cannot pals}' them ; I chide the air 
Which round this citadel of Nature breathes 
With sweetness not of this world ; I would share 
The common grave of my dear countrymen, 
And sink to rest while all familiar things 
Old custom has endear'd are failing with me, 
Rather than shiver on in life behind them : 
Nor should these walls detain me from the paths 
Where death may be embraced, but that my word, 
In a rash moment plighted to our host, 
Forbids me to depart without his license, 
Which firmly he refuses. 

Cleon. Do not chide me 

If I rejoice to find the generous Priest 
Means, with Apollo's blessing, to preserve 
The treasure of thy wisdom : nay, he trusts not 
To promises alone ; his gates are barr'd 
Against thy egress : none, indeed, may pass them 
Save the youth Ion, to whose earnest prayer 
His foster-father grants reluctant leave 
To visit the sad city at his will : 
And freely does he use the dangerous boon, 
Which, in nry thought, the love that cherish' d him, 
Since he was found within the sacred grove 
Smiling amidst the storm, a most rare infant, 
Should have had sternness to deny. 

Age. What, Ion 

The only inmate of this fane allow'd 
To seek the mournful walks where death is busy ! 
Ion, our sometime darling, whom we prized 
As a stray gift, by bounteous Heaven dismiss'd 
From some bright sphere which sorrow may not cloud, 
To make the happy happier ! Is he sent 



ION ; A TRAGEDY. 659 

To grapple with the miseries of this time, 

Whose nature such ethereal aspect wears 

As it would perish at the touch of wrong? 

By no internal contest is he train'd 

For such hard dut} T ; no emotion rude 

Hath his clear spirit vanquished : Lo